[Nara Deer Park]
With my head on his spotted back
and his head on the grass—a little bored
with the quiet motion of life
and a cluster of mosquitoes making
hot black dunes in the air—we slept
with the smell of his fur engulfing us.
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The pony and the deer are trapped by tanks,
and the lady with the guitar is sad beyond words.
Hurtling across the sky, a missile has mistaken
a vehicle for a helicopter, exploding in a ball
of white flame. Upside-down birds—red specks
of knotted wool—glow above the sideways trees.
Hidden among plants, a barefooted boy waits—
like the divine coroner—aiming his rifle at something,
enjoying the attentions of a gray doggy, or maybe
there’s a bullet already in his head.