I stoop close to the ground, conforming to
the ribboned trees inside my dark forest;
my striped patterns have distorted my form.
Ah, there—a deer—eyes peer into the shades.
Restive creature, weak, always in fear—not me.     
It quickly gawks over its shoulder with
its cracking eyes. But mine—twin shining suns
can bore and shatter its blank gaze—no hope.
It scampers in circles like falling leaves
I laugh as I swim into the dripping light,             
exploding off the ground, debris flying.
Erupting like a volcano of black
and orange, roaring, quaking the frail earth,
I land on the buckling deer and sink
my mighty teeth into its feathery flesh             
and feel a red river dripping out of
its neck, metallic splashing on my tongue.
I rip each piece of my pathetic prey
And dig deeper as its black eyes vacate
With such lust and strength, I am invincible.       
I sniff. What is that putrid stench I smell?
It stings my eyes and burns my throat and fur.
A shadow cloud, obscuring my dimmed gaze
eruptions of fire from gleaming pipes,
and thunderous metal claws ribbon the trees.    
I see the soft, pink flesh of these beings.
They look so frail behind their coats, like deer
except their tools are indomitable.
They slash through everything without a care
I proceed slowly until fear takes wing            
and see the abyss of their eyes and freeze.
I think to run but my muscles are stiff. 
I whimper and think of the prey I tore
I look into these strange blue eyes, piercing me     
and feel my timid eyes begin to shatter
as fires eat me, their talons rake me
and I see my blood flow and spew from me
then I sleep with my friend, the deer, the weak
I am the prey; they are the predators.

“Deforestation, environmental destruction, and climate disregard remain significant problems the world faces. This poem seeks to personifies the role reversal of predator and prey for an apex predator that is due to the actions of humans.”

— Zain Mehdi

About the Creators:

Poet: Zain Mehdi is a first year medical student at the Carver College of Medicine.

Illustrator: Sahaana Arumugam is a second-year MSTP student at the Carver College of Medicine.

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