Sweat snakes down my spine
as I hike an old farm road in the foothills.
        Barely August and green leaves are rusting already.

The morning is still, except for goldfinches
dive-bombing a field of black-eyed-Susan’s, honey bees
                                                                buzzing white boxes.

Plump wild turkeys waddle into the woods
when they hear me coming.

Yesterday, a report on global hunger from heat like this.
I think of my bowl of yogurt and fresh blueberries
              waiting in the fridge, wonder

what other incarnation I might have been.
Man at the border, satchel bare, child twitching in his arms.

Woman in Prayagral stooping over flooded rice fields,
her sweat as salty as mine.

Wild turkey. Honey bee.
That hawk I’ve been watching
              flit limb to limb, its eye piercing the shadows.

Say my shoulder blades could sprout wings.
Could I too learn to soar through the branches,

gather sweet songbirds in my beak, feed them
bloody and mangled to my own?