Advice for Not Disturbing Deer Lounging on the Lawn

written by Ace Boggess

don’t cough. turn your head, blow smoke down wind.

squat where often you would pace.

amidst steadiness of chill & bright-angled sunlight,

they have gotten used to you

like a squirrel running laps around the oak nearby.

they won’t rise before you do, their brown snouts stretching,

lips pulling leaves from shrubs—how you imagine yourself

in practical laziness dining from a pizza tree.

they see you, their heads lifting for a look

each time you push your fingers to your lips.

act like you don’t notice their stretched canvases,

eyes like onyx beads. they won’t flee 

as long as the grass reserve of twenty feet 

doesn’t threaten to shrink toward nineteen.

Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, most recently I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018) and Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road, 2017), as well as two novels. His poems have appeared in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, cream city review, Rattle, River Styx, and other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and also spent five years in a West Virginia prison.

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