Near the equinox, first foothill row
of South slopes turned
light-brown in a haze,

tan against the North green
and the yellowing West
facing Valley towns and orchards

about their business. A pale moon,
just shy of full, floats on a light-blue
page beyond ridges become one line

darkening. In this evening
of light, we speak poetry
with cigarettes and red wine.

‘Ripe for a rain,’ you grin pleased
to improve my alliteration,
my half-hearted hope for relief

as dry gloaming fades
to hide our short grass.
No other human ear for a mile

and only barren heifers at the fence,
dogs listening in their sleep,
I proclaim loudly, feeling pagan,

searching for any sign that might
bring a slight change—
‘A moon rising for a rain.’

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