Wild Mint

Did you know that in my hand-sized guide you are shelved
among the Blue odd-shaped flowers? You, the purple coyote
in the field — your feet licking the moist soil, releasing

the slow and the sweet. And did you know in the volcanic slide
of the red and solemn hills there is a gully grinning between broken
teeth and in the palate of light where you and I live, foraging

among the brittlebush and saxifrage, I have peeled the dark earth
for a mad glimpse of your pure white flesh? Have you not also
felt the blue mustangs wrapping the rivers of their hooves

through our canyons, the cottonwoods closing in around us —
indeed, the entire mountain dropping its shoulders to green shadow?
There is nothing to reference the long roll of the melancholy night,

nothing except perhaps for the passage on page five hundred
ninety-seven: The dark teas made from the leaves of this intricately
fragrant herb treat ailments and pause the pain of childbirth.

Even now we hear the coyote’s howls, low from beneath the hidden
ledge, followed by the sudden yips of blind and naked pups.

Simmons B. Buntin’s first book of poetry is Riverfall. He is the founding editor of Terrain.org and lives in Tucson.