Gray and purple dawn, broken clouds,
thin edges lit ash-white press heavily
from the outside—beyond the bear

and coyote collecting tax along the creek,
cleaning-up and taking shares of new life,
feeding on the hapless and innocent

lying flat in the grass. This air is thick
with fear, fetid breath held too long
circling the planet, creating its own

climate of thunder and fire. No perfect
world without predators and casualties—
without the friction of nature’s humans.

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