Broadside of Stag by Gabrielle Calvocoressi.
He’s huge. Standing
there in the woods where
I didn’t even see him at
first. He doesn’t know
I’m looking and then he
moves a little bit and
kicks the ground. I was
walking by myself as the
sun set. I kept going in deeper
to the greenest spot until I
found a clearing. He was the
clearing. He took the clearing up
and stood there still and watched
me til I saw him. I saw his shoulders
first and then his neck. I think he
was so golden in the sun I didn’t know
what he was. And I thought the branches
were his horns. I thought he was an eight point
stag. And how his chest made a kind of giant heart out
of me out of my eyes looking. And he let me look. He
stood there in the green not moving. I thought his horns
were leaves. I saw eight branches coming from his head. He
didn’t stop my looking. He didn’t run away. I watched the
whole of him. I saw his arms and the taper of his legs. He let
me watch him for maybe hours but really moments like a gift.
Like when you’re almost home and smell them cooking supper but
you’re still outside and could just turn back around. We stood like
that together. He let me touch the whole of him. Every rise and muscle.
He let me rest on the hollow of his neck and breathe it in for four whole
breaths. He said my name or shook his head inside the leaves and
sighed and let the light come into us. He let the light hold us for awhile.