Equinox

Vermont

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.

 

New Mexico

Cottonwood yellow rivers

along arid arroyos.

Distant mountains buttress the blue

sky, sun splashes adobe walls.

Heat fades in imperceptible

increments.

 

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.

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