after all these days of heat

how grounding/soothing/landing-back-on-the-earth-ing it feels
after all these days of heat
to be hauling hay
cartful by cartful
pitchfork by pitchfork
under a thick gray sky which sometimes
lightly rains on us
creeps me out i say about pulling virginia creeper
out of the black currants with my bare hands
because it looks so much like poison ivy
the 5″ long praying mantis
brown in its molting
with a tinge of bright green shining
along its wing edges
stealthily moving amongst
the cricket-chomped currant leaves
perfect i tell tookie
of their sourdough (flavor and texture)
and ask how they get it that way
i give it at least 16 hours they respond
the plunk of the three cloves of garlic
trish and i drop into each quart jar
lined up on karma kitchen counter
to which i also add 1 grape leaf and 1 dill seed head
while trish mixes up the brine
and then we get to sorting
the cucumbers

the coppery molten
punching through cloud-puffed sky
of a million depths and grays

the sheen of lavender salve
rubbed onto waxy blister beetle knee burn

tender she says from tucson
and disregarded
whose body always seems
to look like an apology
i say

of the place i came from


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