It takes her to the river,
the deer off in the woods.
Always so gentle, always so
full of bright. Feet crunch
in the leaves, she follows it down.
She sees herself in its eyes.
There’s fading in those eyes.
A wound somewhere, and she knows
she cannot save it. She knows
she cannot ease the way.
Hands spread too much too far.
Favorite girl, favorite beer.
He calls his little girl over.
Always so timid, always so
full of fear, she sees the bottle.
She sees herself in the reflection.
There’s a wounded deer in that reflection.
A wound made from something
untouched, so much undenied.
Girl reads in the space
between night and morning,
of Artemis and mythology and warrior and blood.
She closes her eyes and hounds run the field.
Closes her eyes where things protect her.
She runs to the field, lays in the cool grass.
Looking up, always looking up,
she sees the comets and the wishing stars.
Reaching out, she sees herself in the universe.
There’s strength somewhere in that universe.
By Elijah Noble El
Elijah Noble El is the twenty-two year old author of The Age of Recovery (2015). His numerous honors include a nomination for Best Writing at the Top Indie Film Awards for the short film Dog-Faced Honey. His work has been featured in Literary Orphans, Words Dance Magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review, Straylight Magazine, Hooligan Magazine, Persephone’s Daughters, Kerosene Magazine’s CONTRA, Illumination, Exist Magazine, Soul Anatomy, The Odyssey, L’Éphémère Review, Erstwhile Magazine, and elsewhere. El is the co-founder of Girls Don’t Cry, the film division of the literary magazine Persephone’s Daughters, a magazine founded by Meggie Royer dedicated to empowering women who have experienced various forms of abuse and degradation.