I’m trying to be alone here. I’m trying to nurse
my squalor with a dish of bitter cabbage jam.
I’m trying to ram shut any proof that I’ve suffered.
I am bloodied, I am good. But then they ask
what’s living without something dear to seduce.
What’s living without another skin whose texture
charms mosquitos, pollen, rain. And they’re right:
I want to hunt, not pray. To nail him to the wall
with my hot breath flaying his ears. My elk,
my ilk. Tomorrow, the next town’s fire will go
viral. All the bucks will die. We’ll watch the inferno
pursue each pristine tree, strip it down to its softest
bark and burn it. I’ll bet on this fire. I’ll wager
all the stolen antlers. Everyone loves a good
chase, some noise, and the risk of incineration.
But some flesh has depths not worth unearthing.
Explosions rearrange all our good cells. Venison
to jerky. Leaf to crisp. I will not buy a rifle tonight.