It takes a belief

I almost forgot
I wanted to write
this poem
with a J hanging off
the side of my lip
I was out the door
after a cup of coffee
& before the river
evaporated cool
on the way home
you can hear the sound
of the beetles ticking
like gears that move
without touching each other
at sunset behind the hill
the oak leaves waltz
in the desperate hot wind
everything hunting
being hunted
I can count a dozen pine trees
both sugar & ponderosas
that have died & dumped
their carbon for the others
still living, still fighting off
the clock ticking, the invasion
of the weird little clicks that dot
this forest into a dry death
giving more sunlight for the others
that will someday thrive in their place
after I cut them down, burn them, &
once the beetles have had their way
with the sap that doesn’t bleed
well enough to stick around
& stay to see the moon ripen
a global hawk drone winking silently
flying toward Reno like a starlit ghost
& the bellowing cries
of a dying horse for an hour & a half at dawn
a single gunshot & it’s quiet again
a pound of oil
an ounce of flowers
an hour and a half in the crockpot
the water boils off




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