Tread carefully.

If you startle the moonlit deer, they will hiss and skitter in the snow. These deer are nocturnal and prefer to sip at the dunes in silence. They will not accept your love, no matter how quietly you profess it, nor with what conciliatory gestures, what craven offerings. If you are fortunate, which is to say if the letters of your name and the hour of your birth align in the proper configuration, and you approach with palms out and eyes averted, they may let you stand apart and watch while their jaws work from side to side in the cold. But if you begin to whisper about domestic apocalypse, or the problems of irregular poetics, they might meet your gaze and all but ask you to change the station. They do not want your confessions. They do not want your witness. These deer have been tracking the yard for years. They know they do not need you. Pass on, in your animalskin coat and boots. Pass on, cold nostrils flaring. Pass on to your dreams of the horn and the hoof, of the touch of that sweet, sleek hide.