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Out here, we read everything as a sign.
The coyote in its scruffed coat,
bending to eat a broken persimmon on the ground.
The mess of crows that fills the apple tree,
makes a racket, lifts off.
In between, quiet.
The winter fog is a blank.
I wish I could make sense
of the child’s empty bed,
the bullet hole though my brother’s heart.
The mailman drops a package
on the front stoop and the neighbor’s dog
won’t stop barking. I tread
down the stairs, lightly.
Because we can’t know
what comes next, we say,
The plum tree is blooming early.
There are buck antlers lying in the grass.
A mountain lion left its footprints by the bridge.
Copyright 2020 Danusha Laméris. First published in New Letters. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.
Danusha Laméris lives in Santa Cruz, California. The Moons of August, her first book, was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the 2013 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize. Her second book, Bonfire Opera, is coming out with University of Pittsburgh Press in spring 2020.