Walking alone in a forest, I came upon
a deer—this was not a vision.
It faced me, on its four thin legs,
unmoved as a cave painting
brushed by light. I made myself still.
I spoke to it, softly. I can’t remember
what I said. The deer regarded me as a god would,
eased by my astonishment.
Then, slowly, I moved closer, and the deer
did not run. By now, you know it was love
I walked toward, not the deer, but
what hung in the space between us. I know
it was love because, as I held
my breath, the deer took
a few steps toward me before
bounding into the camouflage
of branches and leaves.