When I Was Less Human

by Christopher Kennedy

One winter before the age of reason, on the hill in back of my parents’ house, a deer bolted, cold breezes drifted, a creature moved within me, hoofed, quick as thought in a long-forgotten region of my brain, and the shadows of a hundred birds flew through me. I ran as the deer ran into a maze of trees, alone in the twilight, bewildered, and stood there, pale and shivering, staring at the vista of ice, black clouds, bright sun lowering in the sky.

Christopher Kennedy is the author of three collections of poetry: Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death (BOA Editions, Ltd.), which received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award in 2007, Trouble with the Machine (Low Fidelity Press), and Nietzsche’s Horse (Mitki/Mitki Press). His work has appeared in numerous print and on-line journals and magazines, including Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, Slope, Mississippi Review, and Double Room. One of the founding editors of the literary journal 3rd Bed, he is an associate professor of English at Syracuse University, where he directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Back to Issue Two: Winter 2009