Deer Boy
A new-age romance between a deer and the sky.
by Bright Green

Dear boy. I knew he would die. This did not disquiet me as I knew I would have him always, trapped inside himself. Excuse my lack of eloquence; it's in my genes. I had him inside his song, inside of my cassette player. Preserved in between delicate layers of plastic as he would be preserved, floating, in formaldehyde or some less famous chemical soon. Both ways he is changeless. Now, alive, he is not himself. Now, alive, his voice never cracks on the fourth note. He fixed that because he wanted to be a rockstar. He wishes sometimes that I would let him go, I know. He wants to leave. But I hold him forever, he gave himself to me when he trapped himself inside of history. Dear boy. I knew he would die. Deer boy. I want him to die. If my changing tenses and inconsistent spelling confuse you, I apologize. My tenses never match because I cannot remember if I am remembering or living what I am writing. My spelling is inconsistent because he is both to me; my dear boy and my deer boy.

Genetic modification gave him antlers and black eyes. Peroxide gave him white hair with split ends. I gave him a bloody nose once when I was angry. Deer's genes, his parents had chosen from the catalogue. That will be splendid. Everyone would fawn over him, no pun intended, such a dear boy. My parents had opted for something less expensive.

My deer boy with five point antlers and crooked bottom teeth, he needed to die. I wanted him to be immaculate, not like a virgin but like a statue of a virgin. A white stone statue. He hadn't come home for three days. I wanted him to be bound in some stranger's basement with electrical tape hanging from his antlers. He needed to be naked and cold and white. He needed his eyes to be full of black and nothing more. My immaculate dear boy, crying over a nosebleed when he needed to shut up. My immaculate deer boy, far too melancholy and capricious. Be impervious. Be something I cannot touch. Be stoic and sanitary. I wanted him to die.

I could put him in a jar. Preserved like music next to our photographs of Saint God and Saint Scientific Advancement and Saint Taxidermy. Then he would not be sad. Then his black roots would never show underneath bleach blonde hair. Then his skin would never bruise. I would pray to him every night, peering up at him on the mantle instead of down at him on the ground. Unaffected by my gaze or my gauze or my lack of religion. Consecrated Deer Boy, Martyr and Patron Saint of Everything Changeless.

O Saint Taxidermy - please let him not live anymore. Please heed my silent petition against the forces of the universe and make him dead. My deer boy writing hopeful lyrics and licking his block of salt, licking his wounds. My deer boy with blue contact lenses and salt in his eyelashes. My dear boy crying in the bathtub because he doesn't understand existence. He hadn't been home in four days and the garden was overgrown .

If my consciousness floats around your head, it can't be helped. It's in my DNA. My genes were spliced with the sky. My parents thought this could be a symbol for God, since they were praying to God when they were praying to the sky when they were praying to the cracked ceiling. Praying on their knees, bent in half like deer boy throwing up pounds of salt so he can be thinner. So I can break his legs, he tells me. So I can break his spine. So I can look into his eyes and see nothing. But time passes and he looks different each day. I long to write in flowing black script on a jar label. I could write romantic; write the valentines that he complained he never got. I could dot the i in his name with a heart and sign mine with love. He hadn't been home in five days and all the ditches were empty.

O Saint Taxidermy - deliver me from evil and guide me in my search for the right chemicals to preserve a boy. Checking the stitches on his body, checking the ditches for his body, praying for the worst. Take it with a block of salt: I want him to die. I am the sky, I am God, and my deer boy is dying.

Though he was aware of the state I wanted him in, he continued to breathe. He looked around at me, sometimes sadly and sometimes defiantly, and his breath was irregular. I begged my half-sister the sky for rain. I wanted it to rain for days, his clovers drowned and his salt block washed away. But she was indifferent to my prayers; my sister or my clone or my mutation, whatever she was to me.

Deer boy and I walking along the coast, stumbling over weathered rocks, him bending to drink from the ocean and me all misty and vague. We were in love once, I tell him, long ago. Before contacts your eyes were like the night, before bleach your hair was like the wind, before change you were like me.

Him eating clovers and me cold as the sea.

Dear boy and I walking along the highway, weaving through accident scenes, him bending to check his hair in broken mirrors and me all smoky and faint. We were mythical once, I tell him, long ago. Before photographs people painted you, before cardboard cut-outs people hunted you, before fame you were a god like me.

Him smoking clove cigarettes and me bitter as the tea he brewed from weeds.

Deer boy cried when I slit his pupil down the center. I wanted him to look helpless and charming but the gauze never quite covered up his infection's viscous tears. Salt in his birthday cake and salt in his wine; salt ground into the sores in his mouth, lesions caused by poor diet and my fingernails. He said he could never be a rockstar without perfect vision. Or maybe that was a pilot. Sometimes I forget which injury destroyed which dream, but I suppose it doesn't really matter since there were none left in the end. No dreams, I mean, except mine. It was my dream to dash his, because maybe that would make him empty. Clover and chemical compounds at bedtime, he was not silent in his sleep. He had been missing for six days. One eye closed and one eye swollen, he was not the perfect medical mistake that I wanted him to be. Be cold, please, but fever and passion made him hot. Salt melted his tears and they rolled down his face, which surgery had fixed and I had broken in an endless and beginningless and meaningless cycle.

O Saint Taxidermy - fold his long legs and glass his eyes, lay him to rest on my mantle where he belongs. Fix him so he is fucked up again. I do not want him as this. I want him to die.

He wrote songs about it, I knew, but he sang at a frequency I could not hear. He stood up straight one day, he tried to be proud and confident, but I told him to be ashamed as I drifted over, under, through him. He bent to grasp me but I slid through his long fingers. Deer boy has been missing for seven days. Please be crumpled on the side of the highway, where some old-fashioned taxidermist or new-fashion biologist or edgy fashion designer will find you to add to his collection.

I wanted him to die. Watching over forever is my nature, it's in my genes. I knew he was going to die. O Saint Taxidermy - please guide him through me into me, which is to say, guide him through the sky into heaven or eternity or the natural science museum, wherever he will end up as I watch forever, hoping for his death or his return or his preservation.

Deer boy has been missing for eight days and eleven years but he still cries every day and I can't fucking stand it. Deer boy has been missing for eight days and four centuries, I only can pray for him to return unchanged and dead.