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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