In the Clearing
the man with the dead head in his hands
wanted to buy a box. he was holding the buck
mount by the antlers. a stuffed six-pointer, young
still, but old enough to live alone
during its rut, which this should have been. fall.
not that I knew fuck-all about hunting, or have learned
anything since without looking it up. in its final
face, the deer appeared convincingly alive, just without
signs of anguish or desire. ways I have heard others
describe life. staring into the fire-
less smoke of its glass eye, it was easy to forget
where I was for the minute it took to drown
its glare in green packing peanuts. the customer
whistled a bomb drop when I told him
how much everything would cost.
said it came as a shock, but no surprise.