The antlers are rougher than the seam
This wasn’t always the kind of place
a hunter would lay aside his pulse-thin
deer rifle for you – offer you a ride from
the mouth of the trail to where your car squats
along the angling rough, the brown lizards
blobs of jam loose in the follicled leaves and
something waiting you out, tethered to the long shadows—
a quiet thing or something much bigger and more profound.
Don’t be afraid to push in, to test it out.
There are rungs held up against the back in case you need them.
I used to walk a wet path until the pebbles
jumped up my lacquered spine, birthing me
in frost and putting minnows out the sides
of my head as second sight.