Desert Creatures in Their Bones
By Jennifer Crow
Coyote sings to Raven, his voice echoing
Off the moon’s cold silver rim, his nose lifted
To the stars. The night tastes like creosote smoke,
Like petrichor, or sweat drying on sunburned skin.
Raven sways on a branch, the sword of his beak
Darting to catch an insect winging through the darkness.
In their bones, all the desert creatures feel this music.
In their bones, desert creatures hear the song of creation.
This is the rain for which they’ve waited.
This note laying down a map on stone,
That note folding mountains out of flat dry ground.
Clouds build on the horizon, lightning flickers
Like a snake’s tongue across the sky.
The stars vanish, the moon shrouds herself in storm
And thunder repeats Coyote’s song in a voice so deep
Every living thing bends to it.
Even a trickster needs shelter from storms,
But the song goes on, coiling out of a cave mouth
And dancing with the wind. The song,
Like time’s sharp edge, cutting water, carving stone
Jennifer Crow‘s poetry has appeared in a number of print electronic venues over the years, most recently in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly and Star*Line. You can find her on Twitter @writerjencrow, or on Patreon creating new poems and essays for her patrons.