This heron –
hunched atop a power pole
two hours south of Palamos-

She does not belong here.
Jackrabbits, yes, bounders.
In the mornings they lick dew from prickly pears.
Coyotes, thin and hot and brown as wind.
Tarantulas, curled into a shade thrown sideways
by a rock no larger than an orange – naranja.
This is a spiky land, creased and scoured.
Even thorns have thorns upon them.

But this heron –
dust feathered,
soft edged,
and shut eyed against the desert –

Drive away without me and I am dead within a day.
My lips will suck down into thin black strips of leather.


My skin, purpled and pustulant, will simply boil into earth.

But this heron –
this unknowable pájaro,
doing penance on a power pole-


-for what dark and fishy sins does he suffer?

And what blue and burbling dreams does he dream?