Deer Aspect

We slept in the thicket as we do,
half sleeping,
our thoughts walking on spring ice
branch to branch, as they do,
hearing up from the damp night of the earth
the etching into leaf of the smallest spider:
the orb weaver
the grass spider spinning, spinning
in the filtered light.

And feeling under the coarse hair of our bodies,
under the needles of our skin,
the seismic shifting of the rock,
the dry rock, the rock on fire,
far, far down —
our kin.

We wake fat some mornings, butter fat,
with our lips in leaf,
but some days inexplicably
I wake with muscled skin and hollow hair,
leaving the depression in the sumac
where our bodies have carved
hollows in the thicket, remembering
(the way we remember all fading dreams)
that I dreamed I was pale and almost hairless
with two straight and awkward legs,
coming and going through the copse
without asking and without permission,
closing the door of the great unnecessary house
in the morning, leaving,
and pocketing the keys.

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