Volume 9 (Spring 2015)

Matthew Hittinger

Beau Buck at Dusk

What itchy psychic energy conjures up a deer

from the swollen, oil-black woods? Beau buck

snorts—sniffs the air—lifts and pricks one ear—

A rusty blur breaks the dusk—beau buck steers

through blackened roots—a hoofed toe tuck

as quiet as ash—a silhouette of fear called deer—

Fireflies crown his antler felt—the field's spears

bow, sown in long, gaunt rows. Nose struck,

he stops—sniffs the air—pricks the other ear—

Maize shoots graze his ankles—does he hear

the bats' insect-lust? Wings flap low—duck

then veer on queer cones that echolocate deer—

To sniff the air for man-skin—to glare and dare

a whiff of salt—rippled muscles glow, plucked

and tinged—stiffened—flexed—cock an ear—

Antlers freeze—nostrils flare—he peers—

blasts air—slaps hair—tracks tear—a bellow, suck

and bound and what will it took to call a deer

now flits into the air—desire amok in eye—in ear—

Matthew Hittinger is the author of The Erotic Postulate (2014) and Skin Shift (2012) both from Sibling Rivalry Press. He received his MFA from the University of Michigan where he won a Hopwood Award for Poetry. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, has been adapted into art songs, and in 2012 Poets & Writers Magazine named him a Debut Poet on their 8th annual list. Matthew lives and works in New York City.

On Libations: This past winter I become fond of boozey hot chocolate made from chocolate hazelnut milk, MaireBelle chocolate flakes, and Frangelico. But most of the year it's either Prosecco or a Maker's and ginger.