Dear Deer

It is important to look up…had I not, I’d have missed you.

Oh, how close we were…close enough to count each eyelash or each committed chew of stolen leaf off tree. Each time you turned away from me, you slowly turned back just to make sure I was still noticing.

How could I not?

I am no longer counting steps; instead, I press unblinking eye against flow of creek or engage with flowers mindfully planted between cracks of concrete sidewalk.

Nothing has changed; I have changed.

I notice a man named Wolf sitting on a bench wearing sunburn and familiar grey beard. Many years ago, we spent hours in dark pub drinking stories and pints of beer. He sold jewelry to men and women in the mountains; he called me Poet or Red; gave me cigarettes.

Years later, he still recognizes me. “Long time,” he hums.

I smile, wondering how different I am or if I am or if he is.

The walk continues. Then, I stop and sit on a chair facing shadows. Beside me, the parking garage where I used to work. I start to cry, but no one notices…just like New York. Or, maybe the sun sees because suddenly I feel it pressing into my ribs.

Today is the day I find magic because today is the day a sage rubs echoes into my wrists.
Today is the day I unstitch my cuticles and pull out the traumas for the final time.
Today is the day I fall in love with my self. Propose marriage. Decide my belly may house a baby.
Today is the day I let go of the ghosts.

All that is left now is this photograph of a deer, some poems, hair I am ready to cut and pull out, these veins like skinny oceans in my body, this creature of breathtaking insight, music, language(s), a severed rubberband, a bench, a carve-out, an appetite, lungs, and this beauty.