And so, barrel warm against my vest,
we tramped back down the hill.
Bleached bones and cat shit along the trail.
Our draws are lonely when we tote rifles
but rife with flocked desert specters
when you lean your gun to pee.
Spotted eight does under the salt cedars,
and started imagining muleys everywhere.
Started saying ‘muleys’ when I meant mule deer.
We haunted corn fields at dusk
feet planted in sloppy corrugates
cold and stalk still under blaze orange caps.
But nothin trod the ditch banks that night.
The high beams reflected wary eyes in the sage.
I could have bagged a three by four opening day
but I shot the sod instead, and woke three small clouds
beneath barreling hooves.