The intensity of your glare
could sear my flesh
burn a hole right through me.
I compress myself into the chair,
use a book as a shield.
I have done it again,
rubbed sandpaper on your wounds.
What did I say wrong this time?
Or was it the way I said it?
Maybe the inflection wasn’t right
or the tone too strong.
Your stony silence stings
sharp as urchin spines.
This is how it always ends.
My texts will be ignored,
Emails not returned,
phone calls unanswered,
until I have served my time
for whatever crime
you deem I have committed
and you have exacted
your pound of flesh, my love.                                                                        


prowl in ever decreasing circles,
isolate their prey.
Testing several times at first,
they take small nips on the run.
Skittish, they tear only
small pieces of flesh to taste,
carry them off to a safe place
where they remain watching, waiting
until they can attack again,
get their first taste
of real blood, raw meat.
With each assault they grow
bolder, more brazen
until they are ripping off
huge chunks of flesh
which they greedily devour.
Soon they reach the prize—
it is still beating. They begin
working in tandem until
it is torn apart. They lap up
the dusky-red, gelatinous pools,
then lick the marrow
and gnaw on my bones.     THE DEER

In the east the elongated sun
     begins its astral ascent.
            Shades of apricot-pink, violet-blue,
                   fill the early horizon.

The pale moon almost a memory
       fades in the western sky.
            I travel alone down hilly lanes,
                around winding paths.
Moving through the morning mist
       a phantomlike figure emerges.
             I notice his tawny beige flanks,
                  firm and muscular.

See his leathery black cloven hooves.
      Upon his head a thorny crown,
              ivory antlers sharp and pointy,
                  more tines than I can count.

He has appeared where ragged weeds
      meet the road’s edge.
           Just beyond in a bed of grass
                a doe lies bloodied and broken.

No silhouettes of fawns in sight.
      Just these two images juxtaposed
            and fixed in my mind.
                  At once I am awed and saddened.
Majestic beast of woods and fields.
       Mighty as a towering oak he stands
             rooted to the earth.
                  Wild and perfect.
I pray, no huntsman will fell him,
    nor car without conscience intrude.
          May he elude wires, snares–
                 man’s many contrivances.   

About the Author:
Lynne D. Soulagnet is a native New Yorker who grew up in Dix Hills on Long Island. She has been published in the Long Island Paumanok Review, Avocet Weekly, Creations Magazine, and others. She continues to live on Long Island where she spends her time writing and visiting her two children and grandson, Michael.