Poor the stream striving by mouthfuls
down-acre, and sad the deer
that must creep toward what little is left.

I sinned.  I made them exist,
coveted the heartish breastplate
of white fur

that so wholly resembled feathers
and belonged to creatures neither lovely
nor immortal,

wanted to replace their horrible breathing
with the dark tenor of water,
fleshy and moving,

though even the small grottos carved by
spring’s rushes are empty now
as honeycombs.
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