Roe, Fallow, and Red Deer

Roe, fallow, and red deer; brown spinnakers
against the nut-green sky. Dragonflies
and darters form an elaborate package
of vinyl outdone by the digital age. I live in a forest

in which things gestate publicly: the transparent
egg of a hawfinch and acorn naked
in a nightjar’s beak give rhythm
a chance to resolve itself. In low woodland lighting,

even the unfaithful will lose themselves to love
and eat the grizzle. And so the gaudy peacock
pleases his peahen. And so ephemera blur at the edges
before the body seizes or strokes or implodes: there’s more

to natural selection than who burns the biggest bricks.
Some men need the inky paste of poppies to feed
their four-year-old twins, and sometimes sun streams in
through the shrapnel holes in their shacks made of metal

sheeting. Pistachios, almonds, and cotton competing
for power. Liminal existence, life is
short, to say the least, life is long red threads running stamen
to stem to soil, where a girl sits longing

for no particular person or thing: more for the mere
act of it, the mere possession
of a wish. Among black mung beans, radishes,
alfalfa, and corn, I am naked

and gnarled in the center of an ancient oak.
My birthright is a mystery to the rain.

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