tucson desert museum

ocotillo
palo verde

hohokam
agave

kestrel
saguaro

cat canyon
jojoba ramada

riparian corridor
back swimmers

water strider
fishing spider

parrot feather
paper wasp

damselfly
mayfly

columnar cacti
crucifixion cacti

whirligig beetle
sonoran lyre snake

spadefoot
rat kangaroo

screech owl
white-tailed deer

bats bees moths
coati

& one hundred thousand
for a rattler bite

i reach down into the briny pool of stingrays
chocolate, ivory, beige
& as if from nowhere
three or four of them
brush their angel soft noses & wings
against the backs of my hands

& the otter whips
round & round
behind the glass
returns always to meet
my dog gala’s eyes

& the puma
wild eyes of ice blue
whirls through his ochre cliffs
wide-mouthed yowls at gaia

the prairie dog who catches sight of her emits a fear cry
his mates rush into their earthen holes

& my totem, the Mexican wolf
seems the saddest
of all

wanders in circles,
returns always to the same spot
unaffected by the four-legged outside his pen

jill and i are lost
circle tucson
the violet sun flaming
seek the Oro Valley
to the north

she gets points for driving calmly
and i, likewise, for navigating from the suicide seat

a trip will never necessarily go as planned
no
it’ll go better

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