Goldenrod soon to be snuffed out,
No bathing suits lakeside lounging
or bare bellies down State Street saunter.
Burdocks hitch rides toward
next year—latched onto pant legs,
shoe laces, the dog’s tail. Last buttercup
nods off, apples thud to earth.
Green tomatoes aspire for redness.
Herbs strung up to dry—lavender sweet dreams,
oregano, basil simmer sauces, sage-flavored
corn bread, lemon balm tea steaming.
Crickets thrumb through the evenings,
we savor the porch, steeped in red wine and wrapped
in blankets while inside
maple wood smokes in the stove.
Cottonwood yellow rivers
along arid arroyos.
Distant mountains buttress the blue
sky, sun splashes adobe walls.
Heat fades in imperceptible
Tarantulas hop across the highway,
mate under ponderosa, in pine needles and sand.
Horny toads must not be moved, must not
be interrupted from their journeys or
bad luck will come.
Bosque del Apache white like snow,
wings of migrating birds.
Hot air balloons waft above the city.
roadside loaded with red chili ristras,
1960s trucks from Chilili, Tejique,
gourds, watermelon, cord wood to sell,
pinion smoke’s sugar-sage smell.
Green chili roasts in wire baskets turning
in every parking lot while
Three Dog Night cranks it out
at the New Mexico State Fair.
Zozobra burns in Santa Fe.
Spiny cactus and squashes,
the sweet, the heat, the tang,
tastes of coolness.
Balanced between darkness
and light, night and day, east, west…
summer slinks away; the geese
get out of town.
What do they know?
When snow-white blind,
thirty-five below sears the brain and
even fingernails feel alive.