Trouble on the street last night:
police cars with mystery
flashing from their headlights, and neighbor
calling neighbor to find out
why.  Surely not the screech owl
with its corner of the dark
kept secret, or the rats
along the walls at speed, tickling
the stars with their tails. Rumors always
arrive heavily armed. There’s someone
in a lonely house
with obscene stickers on his car
who never speaks to us
but has body armor wrapped
around his heart. And we,
who are not zoned for disturbances
cannot help but ask what’s
going on, as eager for a scrap
of gossip as
the coyotes slipping down the wash
are to follow
the million dollar moon in a sixpenny sky.

David Chorlton lives in Phoenix and enjoys a view of the desert mountain that occupies its space surrounded by the city. He has had an unusual year in which watching the local wildlife has been a help in his recovery. Read other articles by David.