Hunting Quail With a Crossbow

On the ridge brushwood is full of a puma.
Birds that circle have lidless eyes
and blood shellacs their fingered wings.
In dust a scorpion wields its shadow.
A rattler buries its fangs in something
that wished to go on. Swallows
flow, smooth as the curve of a scimitar,
sharp as the scimitar’s steel. We come
whenever we can to escape whatever
there is. To escape. Think of that.

Scott Mulrane