Point Lobos State Reserve


Through copse of pine, the deer and I watch—

body of an otter, whiskered skiff skimming across

surface below sea cliff. This edge of continent.

Where deer content themselves to wander toward

waxy water, ears acting axis of alarm.


Antlers are the fastest growing living tissue.

Forked bone-crowns, still velvet, are reinventing

their reign as happens with each new year. The deer

meet soft ground with careful hooves as if

mythologies piled on their backs—weightless:

enchanted princess, messengers of gods, friend to saints.


We go on populating our tales—something to kill, something

to do the killing. And what if these creatures

before me now found, as I did, in the place

just back a hundred yards where the trees diffuse,

the skeleton of a deer taken down

by the mountain lion a season past? Nothing,


not even the very bones of who we are,

could change the rightness of this morning.