First Light

Is it flame you want? The infectious burnt-orange underbelly of cloud? Resplendent wash craved
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxby coyotes to copper burnished
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxfur with winter’s imposter of sun-borne heat? Radiance lent to, trapped by, stone,
xxxxxxxso that next day’s waking
might hold some promise beyond hunger?

A greying dappled sky, I’d rather. With confusion of too-soon cranes against an altostratus skein sifting
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxmost sun away until
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxthe only light resembles that of moon, inhale the pewter taste like ash in air.

Across the canyon, from a juniper rooted in a crevice in the ocher cliff, a raven calls, begging her mate.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxI sense the feathered
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxnoise of his shadow shed the cliff followed by the silent shadow above me
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxof what can only
xxxxxxxbe an owl. I imagine the nest
goes crimson. I am unable

to bridge the chasm’s maw. Against unmelted snow, I watch from mesa’s rim as the grulla,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxblack-faced dog works the unthawed,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxpebbled slope, white, splashed with cindered
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxreds slick as blood on volcanic glass, hunting
xxxxxxxperhaps for scented hare or heard lark,
or shivering dove, or prey other than my clamoring, breathless heart

xxxxxxxspinning with the dying ember of this coaling
earth, this fragile gate, this fallen
xxxxxxxxveil from wildness.