Facts about Deer and Other Poems


Facts about Deer

Because this is still a poem with an animal in it
               and I am still trying—I might say “it offers you
its meaty heart, with no lasting conditions.”


If you’ve seen a struck deer thrash its life out
               on the shoulder, a burner that clicks
without flaming, you know how they seize to death.


Who cares what I think, but I wished just then
               to have a knife. I wished I knew a little about guns
and to own one or to know something sorcerous.


Because nothing but blood tastes like blood, I’ve cut
               myself for its coppery flavor. Only God knows
I’m good. My mother says I’ve no scruples, the way


I make no claims to being a permanent person,
               how my move from husband to ex-husband came on
a wave of expediency and self-promotion. If you’ve gone


to the store and left behind a life—the kind that comes
               with seating, spare change jars, someone’s green thumb
—then you know how I angered at the woman


shrieking behind the wheel of her cracked Escape,
               phone to face, doe spasming on the shoulder.
Someone should knuckle up and kill this deer. A roadway


in America and there’s no policeman on hand to squash
               a neck? It’s early evening & the sky’s poetically
blameless gray fills your throat with the thick despair


so familiar to the heavily indebted. Mountaineers know
               you can’t save anyone on good will, that high altitude
is minus morality. So, Confessionalism. Or,


Two Truths and a Lie: I married a man I met
               on an airplane. I killed that deer. I have no patience
for even the most cherubic of children.

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