Poetry: Nathaniel Bellows


Indistinguishable from the snow

they stand on and from each

other, they gamely eat the set-

out pellets, unaware of being

watched. Captured.

                              I see their

heads over the hearth of that

house, where I read by the fire:

a child’s story of a white stag,

hunted, prized for…I don’t

know what I thought then, but

now I know: For a beauty we

don’t deserve.

                      Yet here they

linger, so close, as if we are

worthy, as if inviting the shot—

on film, at least; at first. Their

gaze is like ours, staring at that

lacquered gallery, mounted heads

falsely alive in the firelight.


had died by our uncle's hands

brought into the house like

guests, to be displayed as art:

buck, trout, hare, doe. Every eye,

glassy impassive, amber like

the lake from which they’d

drawn their lives.

                          These two

live now in this image: ivory, 

otherworldly, asking in their 

silence, their calm, for us to

end them; to ruin and own them.

It is the gift of all animals: to 

show us the depths of our desire.

All rights reserved to Nathaniel Bellows

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