You pick the next-to-last apple off a branch;
here’s to ripening, to the burr that catches
on your shoelace and makes you pause,

consider, retrace your path. The cottonwoods
have burst into yellow flame; by the ditch,
someone dumps a pile of butchered bones.

When we saw white droppings on the brick porch,
we turned and looked up to five screech owls
roosting on a dark beam, back-lit

through wisteria leaves. By the metal gate,
a bobcat bounds off with a rabbit in his mouth.
You yearn to watch sunlight stream

through the backs of Japanese maples;
but see now, sheet lightning in the dark,
it flows from your toes to fingertips to hair.

Arthur Sze was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author of eight books of poetry. His own poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review,Manoa, The Paris Review, Field, The New Yorker, and Virginia Quarterly Review, and have been translated into Albanian, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Romanian, and Turkish. Sze is the author of eight books of poetry, including The Ginkgo Light (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) and Compass Rose (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). He has been included in anthologies such as Articulations: The Body and Illness in Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 1994), Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, (Kaya Production, 1995), I Feel a Little Jumpy around You (Simon & Schuster, 1996), What Book!?: Buddhist Poems from Beats to Hiphop (Parallax Press 1998), and American Alphabets (Oberlin College Press, 2006). He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is the first poet laureate of Santa Fe and has won three grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry. In 2012, Sze was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.