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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