land formations

prescribed burn they call it now
liz says after a huge controlled burn
went out of control
while the clouds hang heavier
near española
be well they say at
the walgreens drive through

liz and i heading south-ish
along the rolling water of the rio grande
patches of aspen
(valley-tucked and up high)
leaves yellowed (neon) and falling

debbie shows me the flashlights
the burr comb
says don’t worry
lucy sneezes her head off
all the time


whereupon i meet a
wolf spider
tucked in the clear shower curtain
and then the tiny scorpion
liz found in the bottom of a plastic bag


if you get up and are walking around at night
use a flashlight
say debbie and liz
and wear shoes
scorpion season is pretty much over
but just in case


melissa the glass artist
tromping over well-worn paths
in thick soled boots
(boots that wore these paths in)
points out the mitten
the tea cup
the camel
(land formations
to orient oneself by)

i’d never walk through the arroyo alone
when it’s raining she says
(though it may be sprinkling here
who knows what it’s doing up stream)

bird clock in the kitchen
tick tocking
northern oriole sings in the hour
of 6 o’clock
mourning dove 7
black capped chicadee 8
et cetera

the sound of lime fizzy water
bubbling in its
aluminum can
on the counter


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