Better a small, wild death
(the doe and perhaps a trailing pair of fawns)
than your Ford
flipped into the Hocking
where Scott’s Creek meets the train yard.
In this place it makes sense
not to swerve
when the deer leap for lodi
or fields of hog corn.
just north of Phoenix
when you stopped to help
the blue pickup idling on the shoulder,
the man with his buck knife
waiting there for anyone? It happened to be you
who knelt with the doe,
pulled her weight, as he coached you,
into your own. No time
since hesitation breeds hope
that by nightfall turns vain.
You say her black eyes burned into you
and then went dead,
two spent bulbs. You held on to them
as long as reason would allow.
You say helping her through
seemed spiritual, visceral as any remembering
now that you’ve felt in her dead weight
What it is to stop wanting.