no matter how hard I try, I will never again curl on a rented couch listening to Leonard Cohen while deer crush larkspur outside my door proof: he carried the grey milk crate of records under one arm when he left there were bats in the rafters then rodents with elbows and opposable thumbs, only blackberry wine dulled the clack of claws on wood. I tell myself nothing is lost that the laws of thermodynamics and the lines on my skin testify to this, but no haiku can match the spice of nasturtiums between the teeth. how long before I lose the sound of elk bellowing like dinosaurs in the dusk mosquitoes tapping the screens trout lipping caddis from the surface of the creek? there was a time when only alpaca wool could comb the goose bumps back into skin. years of stew and thick coffee of books splayed on a bed overnight, sheets inked blue by morning now, I cup cherry tomatoes in both palms their pulp heavy with sugar, skins split from August heat. fact: even eagles are scavengers what can be done when instinct insists we claw the trash? did the birds on the bottom of the fish heap notice they were drowning in entrails and blood? from this air conditioned room, I will never watch a red fox yawn in broad daylight, or see a brown bear shooed from a smokehouse by both barrels of a shotgun. I must accept that I may always know the names of more wildflowers than I’ve seen. when I close my eyes gentian is just a word.