I Believe Him About the Deer By Ana Maria Guay 

I Believe Him About the Deer

Uncle says he couldn’t ever bring himself to kill
a deer—he’s showing us his knives—

I wonder just how God decides to build
the ozone zap of trust between a man’s eyes

and a deer’s, its brown eyes, brown body
before it spreads across the pavement

like a child’s head on a pillowcase
sighing for mother in the thick blue of dusk

Everything in this house is blue—
the grill meat the popsicles the gentle

silence inside the gun barrel upstairs all blue
I press my brown hands to chairs and come away

streaked teal like an arm’s unsunned casing,
showing all the veins I meant to forget

A good man once got me up against a wall
to show the family how he scares bad guys

I terrify them I make them piss themselves
the whole room’s laughter bloomed livid blue

Joyous now at the dream of survival, his own,
he batters his nightstick down the tiles

(They shot a deaf Latino in Oklahoma this year
for banging a pipe on the ground, just so)

and my spine becomes cobblestones,
becomes an ancestry of spines

a field of deer scattering under the skin

By Ana Maria Guay 


Ana Maria Guay is a writer and graduate student in Classics, born in Asunción, Paraguay and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her writing and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Lunch Ticket, Catapult, The Toast, Asymptote, and Shot Glass Journal, among others. A graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Cambridge, she currently lives in Los Angeles.

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