Loaded on beer and whiskey, we ride to the dump in carloads to turn our headlights across the wasted field, freeze the startled eyes of rats against mounds of rubbish. Shot in the head, they jump only once, lie still like dead beer cans. Shot in the gut or rump, they writhe and try to burrow into garbage, hide in old truck tires, rusty oil drums, cardboard boxes scattered across the mounds, or else drag themselves on forelegs across our beams of light toward the darkness at the edge of the dump. It's the light they believe kills. We drink and load again, let them crawl for all they're worth into the darkness we're headed for.
From Armored Hearts, published by Copper Canyon Press, 1995. Copyright © by David Bottoms, 1995. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.