It is summer and the foothills
of LA burn. The ashes drift
as far as the ocean. They sprinkle
the beach as I stand
with my feet in the damp sand
and think it is my duty to live.

She’s gone. No longer will
the mariachis play
their golden trumpets.
No longer will the hems
of traditional dresses grace
the delicate ankles of the senoritas.

She’s returned to the stars
and will not come home, and
sometimes when I change
the hummingbird’s feeder,
I mistake the whir of its razor-
sharp wings for her fan.

Still, I make no noble gesture
of suicide; even though, I long
to be with her. I haven’t any
ancient rites to follow:
I wear a face full of longing
as I head toward my destiny.

Turning to look at the mountains,
I wait for the evening to pass,
for Venus, Mars, and the moon to
appear, it is then I chant: Her hair
was long; her eyes were brown;
her smile parted her lips.

Joe Milosch graduated from San Diego State University. His poetry has appeared in various magazines, including the California Quarterly. He has multiple nominations for the Pushcart and received the Hackney Award for Literature. His books: The Lost Pilgrimage Poems and Landscape of a Hummingbird, were published by Poetic Matrix Press.