Rough, Bryan takes one
in hand, rubs it with his thumb,
A girl too young to kill,
I lift the other with three fingers
and let it roll, cold as a bone
into my warm palm.
It has a velvet skin
the presence of will underneath.
A red split runs the length of it.
where the buck began to grind the skin away.
I can see the buck
the chestnut tree that fell in the hurricane.
I can see him moving off
to the sweet potato patch,
head and antlers
bowed in what looks like
over the splayed leaves.
Bryan, bare feet planted,
gun raised, aiming.
In the dark, no cry . . .
The agreement between all life—
Come, let me have your body.
Someday, the earth will have mine.