That’s how Janelle ends the story
in which her pet terrier is lured away and so
thoroughly devoured it’s possible to believe
he ran off to live with coyotes.
I take weather’s view. High enough
to see the region rippled by
ranges, smeared with lake-beds.
Sparky’s demise at the teeth and paws
of her own distant cousins
glints like a metal object half
embedded in prairie—
singular remnant of say
fifteen thousand years
of so perfectly preserved and
impossibly ornate reality
that it becomes an obscure talisman.
What do you represent?
What fits your pattern?
A child is wandering, raising up his arms
at the edge of our fire light
calling into desert night.
When I hear yips and yelps in answer
I feel that upward pull
as if when coyotes trick a city rube
a thermal system passes beneath me
so while my friend believes
wildness transcends the terrier
I just rise on weather
peer down through my perforated object
at the broken ridgeline
where a canyon burst ages ago
and the subsequent eon flood
created the lake that dried
so nicely for family vacations
and coyotes in the foothill sage.