You dream continually of saving fish.
Slovenly carp got trapped
in low waters as the mountain beside them burns.
Fire gashes down the bluff. The mountain face a flayed hide.

But at night sucking beer in your swaggering pickup
every fleeing owl
is a thought. The poverty of the deer—their forced balletics
through flame-pocked scrub, the ground beneath them
scourging itself free
of the burdensome metaphor
of a truly personal god—is unimaginable.

Our neighbors wait farther up the trail. They are silent
in their vehicles. In fall, when we celebrate
the triumph of Art over impersonal animal cruelty, will you
be there, and can I touch you.