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Clade Song Left

Deer Carcass on Burch Mountain

We meet at the foot of the mountain
with our markers and masks. Climb and shoot
lean against trunks of pines for cover.
One of us makes a casket of leaves
rises from the dead when a body nears.

We follow each other, ascending the mountain. Pause
at the deer carcass lying beside an acacia bush
burning in rancid exhaustion. Fire at the body without order.

Pink pellets paint the hide bright and thud
against ribs and sinew. The glowing heat of the open belly
melts into the hill, guts torn away by coyotes and carrion birds.

We pelt with neon a form bound to the earth and faceless
until the sun is buried behind the foothills.
No thought for disrupting the maggot’s slow progress
through the remains. No thought for dead myths or angels roosted
in the body’s rotting vaults, flying through its dark hallway
noting our act, whether or not it is sin.



Clade Song Right

Briggs Helton lives in southern Georgia where he works as a law clerk. His poetry has been published in The Colorado ReviewInscapeBlack Horse Review, and others.