On that drive east
down 36th street
the summer’s last sun
glint arrowed a shard
across the windshield.

The breaks: not quick
enough. The squirrel’s
dart: too direct, kissing
the wheel with a
deliberation its heart
couldn’t sustain. Still,
the veins sent blood.

From this side of
the steering wheel we
shouted, burst doors
open. The car: now a
winged dinosaur stalling
in the road while the
equinox curled

its spill around brick
apartments to ask,
is it time?
Its flame: the blaze
we didn’t know to

prepare. Our arms
found cardboard and
gurnied the rodents’
shuddering frame onto
alley grass. In unspoken
rhythm we altar boyed
and auntied. Pulled

mother tongue from
dirt. Whispered psalms
and threaded death
rituals our hands learned
as young bodies. When
the cadence of truth
was known by
observation. In
refracted light we

are all earth dust,
spirit, and