The careful moment I pull the trigger
and the buck skips a short dash, its last.

How a rack of antlers resembles the bars
of a small cage, and the warm lifeless body requires
that one empty the entrails here along the edge
of the wood, a strip of knife along the belly,
the carcass now something more appropriate in weight
to struggle to the truck.

On the way out, a clearing of buttercups
and a pair of does. Their tails twitch,
and then they retreat.
I lower the sun visor and drive as the acid
rises to the back of my throat.

This poem appeared in Variant Literature, May 2020.

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