Copse-laurel

— Shastra Deo

I know little of the ways
of hunters: what offerings
you’d bare for dendritic
crowns, your hand to hot
flank, a hoof full of sound.

I have only been caught in crosshairs
of birdsong.

Your spine may be spindle
for the wants on
your teeth, but the graze
on my ammoniac belly
can cut cord to the quick

and dead. You will soon forget
me and my pine-lichen cloak.

I am not a body to be bridled.
This is not a field brimming
with burn enough to scorch
the carcass clean. You can’t
contain hunger by chewing

on bone, lest you find
a taste for phosphorous.


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