Gary Worth-Moody

Issue #
March 24, 2019

First Light

Is it flame you want? The infectious burnt-orange underbelly of cloud? Resplendent wash craved
                                                                                                  by coyotes to copper burnished
                                        fur with winter’s imposter of sun-borne heat? Radiance lent to, trapped by, stone,
             so 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
                                                                                                  most sun away until
                                          the 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.
                                                                                                  I sense the feathered
                                          noise of his shadow shed the cliff followed by the silent shadow above me
                                                                                                  of what can only
             be 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,
                                                                                                  black-faced dog works the unthawed,
                                          pebbled slope, white, splashed with cindered
                                                                                                  reds slick as blood on volcanic glass, hunting
             perhaps for scented hare or heard lark,
or shivering dove, or prey other than my clamoring, breathless heart

             spinning with the dying ember of this coaling
earth, this fragile gate, this fallen
             veil from wildness.

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