November 2, 2023

The Desert Carried: (Named Raven, Deer, Dove, and Drought)

To cherish an inevitable broken-winged unkindness, blue-black

feathers, a murder’s infinite molt, frantic

                       trill of the piteousness, the scale-less trout writhing in

the cindered river, the sated rattler dozing beneath the shrike-less juniper

understory while on one berryless upper fractal

                         a red-eyed cicada stutters through each stylet’s incision.

On the crest of the ridge, beyond algae-ed pool of trapped rain, against

the Caja’s monsoon-gifted grama grass, two bucks

                        halt and step toward higher ground. Each pair of eyes

trained on me and the black-tongued dog. Deer hides copper against verdigris

brilliance. Eye seeds betray a pair of doves

                         in the piñon. The killdeer and horned lark, jumping mouse

and vole, unable now to shelter against this drought’s ochre, from killing talon of

kestrel, red-tail or owl. Under sky

                       without moon, myriad comet fragments fall toward earth.

With them the vanished Beloved may return. Under sky without moon,

my heart, escape

                        the desert we carry.

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A Journal of International Poetry
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