He went out in his car for some air,
& to feel a little like he’d vanished.
He left his phone & everything at home,
didn’t have a destination & enjoyed
disappearing. On highway 37, a deer was
in the middle of the shoulder. Struck,
collapsed, he wasn’t sure. He grabbed
the bungee cords beneath the seat
in back. He was a hunter & hated
to waste. When he tried to lift the deer,
she kicked herself away & down
the hill into the woods until she hit
a tree. She wasn’t moving anymore.
He sat beside her on the ground
to catch his breath, got on his knees
& rolled her up & back onto the road.
The car was gone. It was growing
late & cold. To stay warm, he spooned
the deer in the shoulder of the road.
When it rained, he tried
getting underneath her body,
but she was heavy & the weather
made her stink. Somebody
came by when there almost wasn’t
any light. He groaned, delirious.
It was so dark, they mistook him
for an injured animal.
They had something for the suffering,
said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry,”
a rifle floating in the rain.
Chad Foret is recent graduate of the Creative Writing program at The University of Southern Mississippi. He teaches world literature and composition at Southeastern Louisiana University. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, Tupelo Quarterly, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Nashville Review, and other journals and anthologies.