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.