After Reading the News
Josh Luckenbach

After Reading the News

This morning a white-speckled fawn
            lay curled, sleeping beside the stone stairs
across the street in this, the world

we live and die in—her smallness
            not altogether distinct from light’s
beginning, which tinged the sky just beyond

the mountain—
            and it’s not that we die,
but that we die in the most cruel

and preventable ways. It wasn’t dew
            but my own tears through which I saw,
in dawn’s corridors, the luminous flecks

of our comings and goings lift up
            and out of her in a thousand directions,
and it was as if—no, it was

that everything, that I myself, depended
            upon her presence
in that moment—I was touched by it,

we were touched all across the earth
            and in the most literal way
by the flecks of her slumbered being,

though she would soon rise and vanish
            into the woods, leaving me
(bawling and where?)

to suppose if or how much
            I depended upon her leaving, too.
But it was useless. I could not guess at it—

Josh Luckenbach

has recently contributed to The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Nimrod, Birmingham Poetry Review, New Ohio Review, and other magazines. He received his MFA from the University of Arkansas, and he currently serves as managing editor for Iron Horse Literary Review.