If you listen, you can hear them chewing


before you see them standing or sitting -


with slim legs and branching antlers -


eating together like children, or the souls


of children, no one animal his own,


as I am my own, watching them watch me,


feeling a fever mount in my forehead,


where all that I am is borne and is effaced


by a herd of deer gathered in the meadow -


like brown ink splashed on rice paper -


abstract, exalted, revealing the eternal harmony,


for only five or six moments, of obligation to family,


manifested with such frightful clarity and beauty


it quells the blur of human feeling.


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