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The Everglades

Panthers and pythons. The air pregnant with stealth.

Its delicate birds measure each delicate step.  Alert to kill.

A grey log watches. See its unmoving eye.  It is a crocodile, its razor teeth mangrove roots.

Jeweled snails journey in ethereal silence over lichens, moss, under dense thickets, across the mud...

A hundred birds squawk and scream madly from a swamp hidden in the jungle

Air plants, swept by hurricanes and dropped into the crooks of fantastical trees shoot bursts of color, stamens searching pistils

I wake to the hoot owl outside my window in the chilly mountains, two days and a million miles from the owl I fell asleep to last.

The pull is stronger than gravity

Slow sheets of crystal water

                 slide steadily through tall grasses

toward the Gulf

Sheets of my heart peel, tearing away bit by bit and slide steadily toward the bay.