I don’t understand it, this tinder
so difficult to quench
by the minute; cigarette flung

from car to brush
and I am overwhelmed

by the burning smell. The highway
like a long ache all scorched.

Nothing but the clean crack
of leaves, cacti, mountain lion at the door,

weather everyone north-faced adores
so I’m told. What else would you expect
from a possum rattling your garbage.

What else would you expect
from shades drawn, and the AC responds
to another call. A crow responds

with a single caw as if he knows
when night comes sprinklers
will flood the lawn. Still, I am here

strapped to my backyard
in my loused-up lawn chair
meant to be replaced, burn-out

barbecue, my umbrella drink
radiating like a coiled lightbulb.