forming an arrowhead, ibises carry each other in the direction of
what i want to read as a glyph of hope.

i walk east—a parking lot almost burns—the dusk blushes,
lukewarm—then i’m back again on the balcony of my university
building six and half years ago before we met, wind transporting
brush sediments towards approaching summer.

those jacarandas and tolerant native vines—auspicious walks on
hot nights, a feline rolls her body in dirt. under this sky, i nurse
a kindling.

you feel gone more than ever. your shoulder turns over into
another bed. shadows lean into my neck like ink spill, reminding
me of those ibises and how i should proceed.

in absence, i despise what you’ve become, what you’ve always
been, a secret set loose and this body who prays for your

Copyright © 2021 by Angela Peñaredondo. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 25, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.