We would smell it sometimes, just outside, beneath the porch. Once we heard its scream at midday. We were in somber clothes with serious faces, lining at a wake. To pay our respects, we said. Until it called us out.
Still, each of us held our private reserves of deflection. We flexed budding wings beneath dark clothes, planned our escapes. We dreamed in altitudes, had ideas about the next to go. We watched for drape of eyes over landscapes and their shine at recollections of near brushes. These almost always involved driving, when the rush of speed before it ended promised to finally know its peak.