Headlights too late

illuminate 12 points

growing skyward.


Torn earth and frayed tires fume

up and away from warm-blooded nostrils;

hot crippled car;

the in-out-in-out pace of mammal

breathing from the night-time road.


Later, others arrive

they go about their business of

calling, towing, reporting

then leave.

All but one.


This man had loved the woman driving.



on a perfect day

she had cut open his heart

with a surgeon’s precision 

to let the world in.


He moved the lumbering weight of dead buck

to his truck-bed,

drove the silence of recently fallen home,

sharpened his knife to a fine edge, and

with surgeon’s precision

cut the body open.


Slowly, artfully, he cut

the venison into dinner-size packages and

stored them in his freezer.


He spent one year waiting,

as he had read was proper,

and then sometimes in company, sometimes alone

he ate that memory.

© antonia small

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