We slid hacksaws across the antlers
of the deer to keep them all from growing
long into their eyes. The same way god will part
the clouds to open up the skies.
She held her head under the water rushing passed us
in the stream and when she surfaced there was talk
of all the horrors waiting for us back at home.

There was a circle on the chalkboard and inside it
we wrote our names out in a jumble across the surface.
It remained there for the whole year until we passed that way again
and they were faded as an echo of our purpose.
It reminded us that over time we were the same
as those engraved names we held on to.

The last thing I remember is a beam of sunlight
burning through the leaves into a spotlight on her
lying there with an antler now embedded in her chest.
One final deer was watching us with bloody stumps
above its open eyes, I know I’ve told a thousand lies,
but I am ready now to put it all to rest.

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