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November 11, 2020 Poetry


Nick Soluri

Stag photo

Outside a window a stag picks at an apple core,
its antlers, tilted downwards, catch on a branch,
it stumbles, takes a breath, regains its footing.
                        A wooden sign—nondescript writing facing outward.
           A door meant to be closed by synthetic doorknobs—choir boy bell.
The stag whispers.
So pompous. This melancholy reminds
of rain, of a break in clouds, the sky refuses to show itself.
                                   we our quarrel to the will of heaven
            on an oak tree, on a barn door, on metal hinges clamping
the whole thing shut like a safe—so it stays hidden.
           A crunch, the stag looks up, prays, and flees.
No hunter, no menace. Danger devolves into the soil, tracks
           from the stag crystalize in the dirt—roped off, a private viewing.

I watch the stag run. I watch the stag become this life,
                        this holy land, this tomb.


image: Aaron Burch