Deer Woman

by Karenne Wood

Karenne Wood

He hunted me into the clouds as I sought the blue
star-petaled flower, its scent like magnolia and peach.
I left my family in the meadow to pick my steps
Across patched snow, where fields grasped edges of sky.

There is within some of us a longing to be stripped clean.

Alongside, the forest held his shape. His scent rose to me
with the wind. Too late I knew him, too late to find cover,
and I ran as I was made to—haunches taut, nostrils steaming,
like a swallow I darted into glistening whiteness.

When I tired, he was there. His circle tightened.
Dark, and dark-eyed, hypnotic—I could feel his hunger
as my own. I had taunted his dreams more than once,
dreamt that mouth, the merciless craving in him.

There is within some of us a longing to be stripped clean,

To give it all—strings of sinew, tufted hair, marrow,
white ropes of fat, to bare the body’s pulse. I froze,
heavy with the need to dissolve into him, his mouth
the deep red song of an appeasable desire.

On the wind, I hear another song, my family calling out
to me, calling me into my name. But I cannot return
from this altitude, bound to his hunger, which is a kind
of love. I will kneel in a cloud’s wisp of grace, to discover

how completely our own wanting wounds us.

Last updated November 22, 2022