Black-Shouldered Kites

Like satisfaction unfurling on
an August day, I watch two kites
hover over a just-harvested
corn-field—marking stray hoppers
and voles, while late morning thermals
massage away the haze, and driving
north on I-5, glance east and west
to see both Sierra Foothills
and Coastal Range, gilded in late
summer grasses, and olivine
live oaks—the Sacramento
Valley resembling nothing so much
as a giant taco—cilantro
strewn randomly on the edges
of these tortilla mountains—the kites
now just flapping wings suspended
in mid-air—reflected in my left
side mirror, shrinking, until they’re
just periods typed on a page
of sky, and my brow furrows as I
wonder whether all my deeds
and intentions dispersed into
the universe have shifted this
disheartened planet even a
millimeter—back towards its proper