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Dreams of the Hunted

A Poem by Felix van Oordt

I am doomed to be prey. 


The trees pay no mind to soft wails of the lifeless, 

see no difference between damned and righteous, 

the canopy prays not when the moon-dyed arrows 

of Artemis loom, hide among their narrow 

branches, and dive where the hunted lay. 


I am soon to be prey. 


The forest floor swells to meet my feet, ushering 

me, brushing me through moss timidly uttering 

a warning muffled by scratching bark 

that showers the forest in fog hanging dark— 

I no longer feel safe here, that is to say 

my rose-tinted eyelids have begun fluttering, 

uncovering the rotting swamps of your contempt, 

the trees pay no mind to sore discontent — 

a twig gasps under your boot like brittle clay. 


I don’t want to be prey. 


My flesh lulls and swoons ‘neath your apathetic steel; 

your bludgeon’s dull face now seals your next meal, 

my body moves with yours, each part of me you steal, 

my hooves quiver wildly in dense and empty air — 

dense with your intent, the higher purpose I bear — 

while your knife drips searing passion, singing my hair, 

I snort and choke through the sweet stench of decay. 


I resign to be prey. 


You lap up my nectar, you starving mutt, 

my vision throbs at your carving, my eyes close shut 

but I feel the trees shift, shedding dissonant chords 

from their trunks, spreading jarring harmonies like hoards 

of splintered mirrors at medusa’s feet, my blood 

dampens the soil and my senses begin to sway. 


I’m nothing more than prey. 


I wake with the weightless sensation of freedom, 

the constraints of my frame abandoned, 

collapsed beside me, a pathetic reminder 

of what I used to be – of what I was used for. 


I cannot bleed for you anymore, 

I have no flesh left for you to take –  

the twilight is your birthright to hide in, 

the shadows are now mine to hunt in, 

you will seek salvation in the break of dawn 

while my serrated blade will haunt you through dusk. 


I will chisel a tomb from your desperation, 

your fear shall lay me to rest, 

your agony my final requiem. 


For I am no longer prey. 

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