The hunted, circa The Golden Age

Poetry / Sarina Bosco

He was lean then
like a young stag. I imagine
he was practicing love out among the trees
rubbing the silken parts of himself off on
curls of birch bark.

                                              Years later I would find myself
staring at an ochre door lying in a bed of thistles.
A strange parallel to the couch we’d
stretched out on, mapping our bodies like
animal cartographers. Collarbones similar to
antlers and his hip

                                        bones something like my canines.
Our tendons the same color. Our organs the same
weight.

He had a problem with the vastness of the forest
and how little space he took up there. Eating
only the young grass and looking for something beneath it—
unaware that it was the dry, tangled stuff that yielded

primordial knowledge.

                                                            He never needed taming.
Still I recall the feel of his rib bones under
my palm and the exhale from his nostrils. The length
of him on that couch. How delicate his eyes were

                                                                                                    and
somehow I had never thought of lashes on such a creature.
His bones and his soul so similar to mine. Watching him search
all of those years. Needing to get out under the stars
and coming back something scarred, something overrun by
the heat of the mating season

                                                            his heart gorged on
                                                            instinct
                                                            his eyes, constellations.

Sarina Bosco is a chronic New Englander and voracious tomato gardener. When not writing, she can be found washing dishes or wandering around in the woods. Her work has previously appeared in Digging Through the Fat, The Missing Slate, Cider Press Review, and others.