the end effect
of apartment ceremony,
my old friend,
his twenty smokes,
my constricting lungs
and loud heart rhythm,
us up until five
taking the history view

i wake at 1,
news addiction cured,
chest tied taut,
all day breaths
fought for, each
mindful and scarce,
remnant of the sense
that we get it now,
our words made a seat
sittable through
this specific quake.

I tidy,
still no power,
looking forward
to a sunset walk.

Pipe in hand,
white sage, mullein,
holy basil, damiana,
uva ursi, marshmallow
coltsfoot, red clover,
peppermint, passionflower,
the creek trickles,
the sunlight too,
I breathe the smoke,
offer a prayer.

Silent wings unsubtle
drop a shadow
into a blind
behind a trunk.
I stay still
then lean look
around trunk
for wings. Wait
then giant unfolded
dusklit thunderbird
reperches next to me,
stares into me,
face I imagine human,
conference of predators,
making me a new seat
made of no words.

The owl flies away
tearing the cord
around my lungs.
I bless his hunting,
bless his medicine,
bless the daring
of every forest
that remembers clearcut,
and of people
getting out of bed
at all, even at 1 –
then, he flies
to the tree
on the path
in front of me,
sharing communion
in no way accident
silent shouting
no words
all we share,
then paths part.

That night the woodfire
ties my lungs again,
Owl hunting
quick claims
while my heart pounds
while I beg each breath
while stars
scatter blessings.

New day, I sleep
too late,
search for scraps
to make a new seat
to ride today’s quake.

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