By Mickie Kennedy

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.