Deer Opener: Lake Carlos State Park

"Beauty should be edible or not at all."
-Salvador Dali

In the campground the air is stiff
as the twisted black oaks: From each
hangs a cloudy-eyed carcass.
Guns fire in the distance
no louder than twigs snapping
beneath moccasins.

In a cave at Lascaux, France,
17,000 years ago, a ragged priest kneeled,
dabbed his creed by firelight.
A clot of yesterday’s communion
still clung to his beard.

I kneel, focus to shoot:
A candy-striped swingset bows
with the weight of six dead.
At the back of the camera frame
a hunter emerges, blaze orange
against tinder-dry birch.

Edging toward my car, I think:
I am no priest. This
is no creed. All of that happened
17,000 years ago
in a cave at Lascaux, France.

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