Black Cat on the Guadalupe Trail

—San Jose, CA

Ours is a hopeful world in which stone claps
immortally against the sharp silk of clouds —

we thus mistook you for a larger beast, some
midnight thing from the edge of memory. A

click of the tongue drove you deeper into the
drought-dead stalks made anonymous in their

withering. You were not thief-footed. There
was nothing to be seen, however, besides the

arrows of your eyes, bile-yellow, and then you
were a rabbit — or, perhaps, a mountain, for

we heard your steps as clear as if you were
leveling the park with fire, as if you had met

and accepted a god that hardened you.

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