the world we choose, the world we love


for Nicole Kaltz

Pears ripen. The turtle crosses
a walking path to her nesting ground.
My dog attacks her own shadow.

Lily pads cover the lake,
rise from the muck
of fallen trunks and storm

debris. Green algae thick
on the pond. Early
summer and it is cool.

In San Miguel my sweet
girl is dying of cancer.
The wall built between Tijuana

and San Diego extends into
the Pacific. Deported
mothers kept from their babies

by finger-thick slats, use
fingers, Kissing fingers
for te amo— te echo de menos.

A sparrow has a dirt bath
and the bottlebrush buckeye
blossoms stand upright

like drill sergeants
instructing the clouds
and sun. Monarchs

appear among the white
and yellow butterflies
in the rain garden.

A praying mantis wavers
on a blade of grass. The cornelian
cherry drops its fruit

in the small palms
of children as offerings.
Aspen branches rustle

in the wind, remind
us of a heaven
we stopped believing.

But our burning world
in your thin arms
is the same one we choose
to practice love in.

Image Credits: Bob M.