Among My Superpowers

One. Finding lost things
my wife could never find,
but I failed with virginity
and no longer count it on my résumé.

Two. Casting protection spells for deer.

Three. Sketching.
Well — until recently.
I can’t draw anymore:
all art discriminates;
it is all about difference,
and I have lost the sense
of one thing in relation to another.

I take off my shoes and place my feet,
heel to sod, in the prairie coneflower,
take a pencil,
but my talent is gone.
The upright toe of the flower,
in the blue grama
like a nub of cherubim,
and the tall rye grass
seem attached to me;
my legs now, articulated like juniper.
The berries on the sand cherry are out,
bulging, livid as the eyes
of damselflies,
and the powder-green sagewort,
that wild shortgrass, fringes my scalp
down to the flint and shale
of this ancient skin.

The pencil disappears.
I find it with the mountain mahogany,
where it has grown feathers.
It is still too weak to fly.
By the weekend it will be
south with Scorpio.

A Lot of Talk About Extinction

This is how it starts.
Out of the seeming
dead branch, the green hands
of the mountain mahogany
overnight, about to flex.

There has been a lot of talk
lately about extinction,
and there will be some:
there always was, I guess, before anything
much cared about comings and goings.
It is only this that makes it hurt:
the deep quiet of a Colorado morning,
the sky cerulean, cupped blue
as though we were seeing it
from inside the egg
of that migratory thrush,
our new feathers —
you could hardly call them that —
new skin,
bones, beak, near formless

and the scrim of the earth,
all it means, outside the glowing shell.

But instead, we must somehow be
in the other hemisphere:
not this northern Easter but in mid fall,
the stars all different,
the dry seed, like the corkscrew style
of the mahogany — a few stragglers stuck
among the small green hands — the rest
long since picked up, blown off and out
to other work.