Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Deer in the headlights

No drinks for six years
but tonight, three hours ago
hopeless and hating 
me or anyone
wide awake wired like a wire hanger
that's it
I thought, and went driving 
for a lot of drinks. I said goodbye to the dogs.         
They stared but didn't lift off their pillows. 

Driving fast, past midnight 
through a tunnel of pines just missed 
a deer - white tail, hooves diving - so
I hit a tree my nose hit the wheel.

A pretty red spray of blood on the windshield
and lightning bolts across my eyes but 
at least the cops won’t find bottles tinkling 
in the back this time. 

I was so far out of town I didn’t hear a thing
another car, a house, a voice
but I heard something walking
the shadow
had four legs.

The deer came to the car
leaned in close, we were eye to eye 
and she licked me, once
on my cheek, several licks on my nose
licking the blood away. 
With a whisk she was gone
tail and hooves over the road
beyond the pine tunnel. 

I backed out of the tree, the trunk held
a piece of the grill, for evidence, drove home
said hi to the dogs - I could tell by the barking
they were surprised I'd come back - then, I
finished washing my face. 

The moon is up.
Open the curtains
open the window
a fresh blue moonlit breeze is coming in;
lock the door, go to bed.

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