A whirling of white that revels in immediacy. A streaking of fur—a flashing of teeth.
Then, a stillness: the coyote pauses, tail plumed against manicured lawn. A premature carcass slackens against its jaw.
That ending was a rabbit, once: perched on punctured grass, nosing at a wayward clump of dandelion. It tore down bloom after bloom, yellow suns splintered in its teeth. But one stalk was too stiff: it gnawed and gnawed, cloud of white protruding from its lip. Its last moments strained against its own vector.
This is a trajectory: the rabbit, pulling and pulling on its stalk, but never pulling enough.
But if neither force concedes, inevitably, there is a snap. Tension severed by bared teeth, but not from within: the coyote a foreign convulsion, exchanging one breath for another. The dandelion pierced through, seeds scattered from its mouth.
Now, there is no pulling. They exit in a flurry, haphazard clumps dotting blades of grass. A spray of dandelion seeds settle on its imprint, each tuft blooming red.
Janice Lin is a student from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work is forthcoming or published in Polyphony Lit, the National Poetry Quarterly, and Beaver Magazine, among others. In their free time, they enjoy worldbuilding, theorizing about TV shows, and trying new boba shops with their friends.