South 71


That cloud (the like effect
of a doused campfire, such steam
and sudden smoke) looks like a sailboat,
slipping its way toward a light gray
edge of the world, its sails soft
and fluid, floating on the wild
and haunted southwest wind;

outside in the road a doe
lies dying. We slip past her,
bidding a somber shrug,
a shaking head-
her body will be broken
down by bacteria and rain
just as chemistry tells us,

and we believe it's true.
Some song of a different genre
sings out of the radio-
it was we
we just passed-the last leaves
left on an oak tree up ahead
slap in the wind
and beginning rain.

Khristan Doyle