the heat

eating lunch
(white bean tuna salad,
bites of chocolate)
in the shade of the packing shed
as i lean into my portable little camp chair
the heat on my arms as if i were in the sun
and the temperature rising

more rotten than rotten

the worry in the turnip bed
the rows of zuchinni
the onions all lined up
as we harvest and dig and bunch
that ______ not showing up at work
doesn’t have anything to do with their car
but with the ice raids
we’ve all been catching wind of –
a putrid wind from a thing
more rotten than rotten at its core
and the relief when
there they are, after lunch, ailing car and all

what lies nearby

pulling the clattering green wagon
filled with five-gallon buckets of water
down the curve of the path to the garden
with a sudden emptiness
of knowing that sick kitty will never join juniper or i there –
meowing, seeking pets, jumping up onto our backs
because sick kitty lived a short life of unnecessary suffering
and lenica told me yesterday that she died a month ago
and is buried nearby

gentle grip

the rose-breasted grosbeak
that juniper hopped off her bike and up the road
to scoop from the pavement
exhaling its last breath
in her gentle grip
the small black watery eyes
the air so still and so kinetic around us
the imaginary flower
i place
over its small but important body
nestled into the wild greenery
beyond the mow zone

the slew of rainbows

the slew of rainbows
that arrive in the mail
and jnfr tells me the meaning
of each color of the original rainbow flag
that she says was designed by harry hay
though it is credited to gilbert baker:
pink – sex
red – life
orange – healing
yellow – sun
green – nature
turqoise – magic
indigo – harmony
violet – spirit

bunching beets

how i close my eyes
to avoid the soil that goes flying
while i bunch beets
by wrapping a rubber band around
and around and around
the handful of leaf stems

we’ve gotta get the horse out of here

the white paper fans
we hold up to our faces
like visors
from our seats in the sun
while vows are said
and songs are sung
and poems are read
under (and adjacent to) the chuppah
that’s ranunculus
i joke

(subbing ranunculus for ridiculous)
amid so many ranunculus blooms
so rich in color and texture
that i want to wear them and eat them and become them and grow them
all at the same time
now that’s not something you hear at every wedding

i joke when we are full from sweet cake and
the sun is pinking the sky in the valley
about overhearing tanja say
we’ve gotta get the horse out of here
so we can start the fireworks
maybe they just light off a bunch

every time a car drives past
i joke about the fireworks blooming
over one of the county highway houses we pass
on our way home
in the almost complete dark but not yet quite