Young buck drags his hindquarters – eyes wild for escape – across the unlit road. The car ahead had swerved, pulled off the road our friends out of their car shaking, pacing, Oh Jeez! Oh Jeez! in a field, behind the struggling, the useless legs. Call the police. An accident. Flashlight. A shot. Heaving steamy breath. Second shot. To the head. Silence. Policeman pulls the carcass to the gravel shoulder. Highway crew’s morning pick-up. Again the moonlight, white frost, empty fields. Farther up the highway, a country tavern, our friend’s son, bartender and chef, serves us whiskey, no ice, no flourish – his friends go for the carcass, the precious meat cannot be left to spoil. Out back the buck is dressed. The tenderloin removed and fried with onions and carrots. A white plate is passed along the bar for sharing, thinly-sliced dark-colored venison, one communal fork. The plate reaches us, we hesitate a moment. The taste is wild, it tastes like running.
Albert DeGenova is a poet, writer, editor and publisher. He is the author of four books of poetry, and for the past 30-plus years has worked as a journalist, public relations practitioner, copywriter and marketing communications professional. From 1978 to 1980, he was an editor of the Oyez Review, published by Roosevelt University. In June of 2000 he launched the literary/arts journal, After Hours, for which he continues as publisher and editor. Albert holds an MFA in writing and is an adjunct professor at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. He is also a blues saxophonist and one-time contributing editor to Down Beat magazine.