• notdeermag

Conecuh, Adam Kamerer

CW: death


We walk the many miles of Conecuh National Forest

in December after the summer fires,

past the empty firewatch tower

into darker places

where the pines smother out to silence

the rush and the human air.

I shiver against the chill and the damp

and stare at your back.

You lead us off the trail into the throat

of the wood, into a thicket

where the charred trunks stand too close

and there you find the atlas bone of a deer

graved in frost and leaf mold,

you lead, I follow,

the singular bone of a deer,

the rest of the body gone to scavenger mouths

or decomposition or just gone to vapor.

Here you tell me to make my offerings:

you say weave a circlet of pine straw,

leave a snail shell, settle the bone

in a circle of leaves and pebbles

and while I busy myself with obedience

you strip off your clothes.

Winter holds your wrist.

You reveal the bones of your hips

to all the knotholes of these cold wet woods,

and I stare while you make your offerings:

your gooseflesh, your shiver, your white breath

and the heaving of your chest.

You gift up an elegy to something older than God.

I gift up a question asked in awe:

How do you make haunt and reverie

the same thing?


Adam Kamerer is always getting lost in the woods. His poems have appeared in Anatomy & Etymology, Borderline, and Four And Twenty. He has authored two poetry collections: Bone Fragments and Ventricle, Atrium, credited as Gabriel Gadfly. Read more of his poetry at http://adamkamerer.com.

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