an empty plastic bag
rests on the median
a sunken-faced man
angled for eye contact
from outside my stucco building, what’s visible are the skeletal remains of patio plants, abrasive as scarecrows after having been squelched by the mid-june sun — my tender lavenders, for one, now as brittle as broom stalks and strung out in their shiny turquoise pots.
what else expires so brusquely in the summer? what else? what else likewise goes unnoticed — shrivels, curls and dries out while you are unaware?
how can anything amicable grow in the mojave during summer in the first place? how? how can anything other than jagged fronds grow, or red yucca daggers pointing upward in veneration of the cloudless sky, or cactuses with their arms raised aloft like pitchfork prongs, their needles drawn like open claws? how can anything other than these things grow while what begs for mercy succumbs?