In the afternoon, the hills are yellow now,
turquoise oaks, the buckeyes’ tan leather brown
claim equal space high up, but daybreak clear

but for a rosy raft of smoke on a monsoonal trail
alone, last of fires let run to consume the drought
and bug kill: scarecrow cedars, naked pines

pitched for flame. My eyes climb to the near
ridgeline for clarity—for a sign of what’s to come
within the hazy world affairs well beyond us.


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