The Whisky Blot
Evening windstorms shake down
the palm fronds and rouse the canyon’s
clique of mangy coyotes to their brash
and longing songs. I watch the
liquid-amber tree’s reddened leaves waver
like faltering words and go to ground.
It’s fire season. Lightning has set aflame the
mountain’s parched acres and the stinging
ashes mute the mornings to a choked silence.
Each night I look through myself out the window
as the blaze gnaws at the backbone of the hill. Each morning
I wake to the brown air lagging over the sun like regret.
Chloe Coventry is a writer and ethnomusicologist living in the foothills above Los Angeles.
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