S. M. Pruis

Grief

A whitetail deer lies whole
beside the road—whole,
except the heart casement.
Alive, except the ribs
picked bare.

Like an interactive diagram:

           What flesh lies
                     behind this hide?
                               Lift the panel.

           What truth in bone
                     beyond that?
                               Lift the panel.

           What death bellows
                     beneath?
                               Lift your eyes

to the disheveled vultures,
and let their shadows
smooth the burnt ache
from your cheekbones
in reassurance that you, too,
are whole, except.

Author Portrait

S. M. Pruis is an outdoorsy poet-person in the Pacific Northwest. They've won a few awards and lost one orienteering race, but their true talent is skipping backward in snowshoes. Check out their poems in The Ocotillo Review and OUT/CAST or other writing on Good Letters, ArtWay, or their website.

View the website of S. M. Pruis