nara deer

his crests are almost golden
in the sodden heat that folds
over these valleys like a heavy cream,
his eyes so
liquid they seem to pour
out of the angles of his face
as he looks at you,
he moves as if
he hadn’t a single care, as if
the troubles that brush
against him through your hands,
the hands of hundreds,
soak into the matte of his skin
just enough
to be reflected in the steadiness
of his gaze,
dripping down strength through
the stones to your feet:
they do not linger.