In the thicket—the coyotes have not cut a trail
I’m tangled in manzanita, lemonade berry, sumac,
the fragrant arms of black sage, the nefarious wings of poison oak.
She called me out of fear about her missing cats–coyotes
but she’d never know it.
She’d lost her voice and found it again.
We cannot provide you revenge or even protection but we will give you this
little silver little clover keep me in your pocket you are deep in the woods now
these twisted thickets of chaparral woods, immense trees
for the smallest of creatures
Broken glass and suppurating wounds–
her stick cut me right through and now the streaking is climbing my leg
too bad. I’d wash it with water but all I have is mirage.
We’ll eat you up and spit you out
and eat you again
I went so far as to openly despise her
she held all the cards
and even then
launched herself across the table.
We cannot provide you protection. We see her
but we do not care; or if we do, she’s converted
she’s seen the light
or rather, been moved onward
because we are ignorant, or deluded
or just do not care.
You are a visitor and conversion is impossible.
You’ll never see the light and we have no patience for you.
Take your card, this piece of paper.
Take our keys but watch your step. The floor has never been even
and you are one foot caught in a crevasse
Away, come away.
I’ve cut my line–
burnt my bridge. You mirage,
you image of the fresh water I needed
I’m sucking lemonade berries.
Their throat pinch tells me I’m real
The image of what I thought you were has disappeared
just as your committees are wont to do
and all I see now is rot. And I know it is good because now I am through
I’m into the thicket.
and over you.