Animal Dreams


 
I               Coyote
On days like this
when evening ripens underneath the rocks
and the high ground glows
I jump from the mountain
and slide on a beam of sunlight
down into the streets below.
The wander hours begin
 
where Forty-fourth Street intersects
with the strip of dry grass and mesquite trees
that runs past the park
and enters the night
with a clear view of the stars.
I’m invisible from this moment
 
on. I walk. I run. I
carry the moon in my teeth
and I sit
at the seventh hole where the golf
course sleeps. I am watching
a man with no home on his mattress
placed beneath the bridge
where darkness runs
 
under Forty-eighth Street
and flows toward the pond where
it slips into the water. There is
so much to induce wonder
here on the ground and I already
forget to ask the neighborhood
insomniacs if I need
a password to enter the sky?
 

II             Rattlesnake
When time sheds its skin
I am waiting.
                    Beside a rock being warmed
in the sun until it bites.
                                    Coiled
into a question mark and counting
each drowsy minute
passing by.
                 The desert rubs
against me when it rains.
                                         Soft
as a mouse the moon
escapes a cloud.
                         Thunder rolls
into my open mouth.
                                 I’ve eaten lightning
but can’t remember time
or place, only
                     know it burns
like any hungry summer night.
 
III            Hummingbird
We’re all reflections of the sun
until darkness folds us
each into ourselves. We  sleep
the cold sleep which preserves our dreams
on ice
 
and when we dream it brings
visions of becoming
a drop of light miraculous
in air. But look
at sunrise on the mountain when
 
it weighs as little
as a goldfinch
and has wings wider than the hawk’s
 
who passes daily with the desert
for a shadow.
I sleep inside a raindrop.
I wake up on a slender stem
that arcs
 
between the flowers that
taste of survival.
And when the day
 
folds its wings
dreams are all that flow
through the mind while
the body freezes for as long
 
as it takes to be luminous again.

 

David Chorlton

 

 

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