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Deer in the Headlights


I finally know how a deer feels

when caught in front of a headlight.

I imagine him standing there;

legs frozen stiff, eyes stunned wide,

certain that this car is going to hit him

and the impact would reduce him into nothing

but broken bones

and mangled flesh.

I imagine that his mind

must be screaming at him

to run, to get the hell away from here--

'you can still do something'

but his body wouldn't listen, no,

his body knew it was inevitable

"It's useless to run," he said

"Why give yourself hope when all will be in vain eventually?

You're just setting yourself up for failure."

And so he was paralyzed,

frozen in the face of death;

his only hope was that his corpse would look good enough for the spectators.

And I know this because I am stuck in the same situation.

I don't how to fight

and I was never taught how to fly,

but what I do know is how to freeze--

how to brace myself for the worst possible scenario and sustain the least amount of injuries--

then endure the aftermath,

hoping that I still have the strength

to drag myself somewhere safe

and lick my wounds in peace.

I'm that deer;

foolish and fearful.

In the face of adversity,

my mind is a machine gun of

"This is it,

this is the end,

I'm going to die.

I can't ever survive this."

and I'm not even dressed for the occasion.

My eyes belong in the death row,

and I stole my smile from a martyr.

I wonder if there'll be anything left of me

for the autopsy?

© 2022 Bea Forlales

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