Noon, high desert, somewhere east of nowhere
Rearview, windshield: Nobody visible.
When your mind’s like a ferret in a snare,
Thrashing, this emptiness is critical
For calm.

Because after days’ worth of waking dreams
The mundane adopts fearful symmetry:
Hurricanes brewing in your coffee’s cream;
Your friend grips the bat, threatens battery
If you try to necromance the old days
You left three hundred miles to the West
Behind the gray curtain of Beijing haze:
The Hollywood sunlight a daily test,
As the hillsides, like your marriage, burned.

The shimmering white dot resolves: a car,
Oncoming, fast, headlights flashing for you:
Slow down. You wonder: do they mean to bar
Your way? Their window slithering down, too,
A hand extending from machine-cooled dark:
Balanced on the thumb, a pale question-mark
Tilts its head to meet your eyes with its own
Dark pools; its wings rustle, beak angles down,
As you extend your hand into the heat,
Its small talons prickling the soft meat
Of your finger, its new perch: Hello friend.

The white car dissolves back into the glare.
You drive, one hand on the wheel, bird roosting
On the other. Its tiny bones, cold stare,
Blur-fast heart are yours, now. Its shrill chirping
A message from some greater order:

Hello friend
Hello friend
Hello friend