Animals come down through stars to reach the valley. A coyote with its nose pressed in a rabbit hole. Two Sandhill cranes as tall as rain, and listening north. And when a cougar screams its human scream, I’m suddenly a child again, awake, the parched air raked by drumfire blasts, window panes all gleam and vast, animals angling through ripe alfalfa fields. My grandmother holding me to the thunder-headed sky as if I were an offering. Saying, There, see how meager we are made. How our bones ring with fury and light.
Outside the water sings
its tortuous note,
devoid of the parrot,
devoid of the quetzal.
A song without ears,
a dry silk wrapped around the throat,
neither warm nor cold
but a vacillation between the two.
A hammer swinging
through the aether of the flesh,
the mind’s red line.
Tonight a part of me shivers, liking it,
my whole body in one place,
where steel drags along.
I wonder if the body wants more
to open or to shut.