Last night a barred owl swept across the road,
plunged into the hillside, then ascended,
some rodent, its clock run out, in its beak.
The owl settled into the nearby crook
of an oak and consumed at its leisure.
For twenty minutes or so, it perched there,
the occasional swivel of its head
my way, pale face under a pale half-moon
sizing me up, near drunk at the railing.
Lord knows, it could have been the alcohol,
but I was at mass, a kind of rapture.
Earlier, the roar, distorted road music—
bike after bike rolling through Eureka,
startling birds and the poets. I’d seen
two Eat Pussy, Not Pavement tee-shirts in
the space of an hour. Born they are, but not
so wild as they dream to be: long, gray beards
flapping in the breeze, leather-clad women
clutching behind them, tanned arms wrapped around
prodigious mid-sections, pressed tight, keeping
their motors running. And now, all seems less
dire, pale face under pale half-moon, a fierce
plunging, keen desire and you so far
away for so long now. These spring leaves, owl
in their veiling, wet road shining below,
and I’m rapt at the edge of the railing.