the thing is, i need
the deer to mean something.
i go to the soccer game and smile
and nod while something furious
inside of me is screaming.
a deer appears while the sun
is setting and it's like a scene
from a movie: green grass and gold rays
that spread out, tingeing our feet
with one last bit of wednesday.
everyone watches the deer and makes
noises of appreciation and i look
around and i think to myself
"okay, this is it, i am happy."
the deer is watching me and i try
to decide if it's a metaphor.
i want the deer to be death, see,
to represent fucking or blacking
out or apathy or loneliness.
someone does something heroic
with a soccer ball and i watch
my hands clap together over and over.
okay, or maybe the deer is supposed
to be happy. maybe the deer
represents attending social
events and sitting with people.
maybe the deer means that
i'm ready to let go.
the girl beside me looks over
and asks if i've written any poems
lately. (that's all she knows of me,
that i write poems and smile vapidly.)
i laugh and hold my wrists
and write silent excuses on
my throat with my tongue.
no, sorry, too busy wondering
if the absence of tragedy
is the equivalent of happiness.
the deer is just a fucking deer,
it goes as quickly as it comes
and no one notices enough to care.
the sun sets and it isn't beautiful
or mystical or meaningful. it just is.
it's so cold for june and only growing
colder. darker. i still my shaking hands
and try to write a poem while people
on either side of me whisper and giggle
and touch. someone tells a joke and i
can't remember if i already laughed.
if this is happiness, i'd rather be sad.