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Wyvern Lit

Cycle of Dead Deer

Poetry by Zachary Cosby


i think this face is not my own
i think this face is not my own
i think this face is not my own
i think this face is not my own
a bird flies into a pane of glass
again and again and    


my neighbor
holds rakes
like mannequins
dead deer crumpled
over the hood
of my car
the sun black
in a sky black
over a crayon
also black


something moving
behind the cans
in the pantry
if you want
to know something
it helps to name it
helps to touch it
i am amazed
how antlers don’t bleed



my neighbor is
raking a field of rakes
i ask what he is doing
he points at the color black
the night is for sleeping
and the day is for staying alive
it goes back and forth like this
for a very long time



i find a tree made of fog
that takes a lifetime to climb
i can see my neighbor
between two tiny houses
that tiny house is mine
that tiny house
is not



i make friends with a child
on a branch of the tree
we share a common enemy
whose name we never speak
our story is a ghost story
the kind a child
tells another child



a child wears a deer head
like its own head
i wear my head
like my own head
my neighbor
is raking some rakes



a child
asks about my face
a face
is a face
is a face
is a face



dead deer fall from the sky
and smack against our homes
a body falls apart
like handfuls of flowers
pushed against a face
until it undoes



i see my neighbor
with black shirt
soaked in fog
i want to save him
want to know
his name



i climb down the tree
with an umbrella in my arms
dark clouds of deer spreading
from here to there



wow, says a child
dead deer flood our homes
we laugh
it’s true