I believe in the distance a wild snail travels,
its miraculous and sticky yardage. I believe
in the bison calf battling the wide and rowdy river,
his mother banked on the otherside, patient with her demands,
the wolves along the woodline, waiting, waiting.
I believe in flashfloods and slot canyons,
assorted birds—the ugly-as-sin type, gathered
beside a pond in a small Miami park.
I believe in the black bear’s hunger,
the lonely eyes of Yellowstone, the trail
that took a few and sent them home early,
the mountain behind the lake prying last light
from the sky. I believe in ospreys, in otters.
I believe in the winter eagles perched above
the water, picking duck for lunch. I believe in
the children with bags of stale bread at the ocean,
the gulls, the old dock never quite collapsing.
I believe in the storms that come to shake
the fishing boats of east Texas, the roiled world
of cloud and catch and sky, the otherside of
work. I believe in wildfire and change,
in shrinking shores, in silent glaciers gathering up
the last of themselves and crawling north.
I believe in the hook-and-crook lives of ravens,
their devilish wit, their slow patrol of afternoons.
I believe in the dogs I had growing up,
the ones still running off without us, somewhere,
and the few cats who loved best a window’s sunny pool.
I believe in the thud my car makes across the bridge.
I believe in the smell of jet fuel, cattle fields, french toast.
I believe in the hard dirt of Oklahoma’s summer,
the blood-red soil overbaked and tough as stone,
the sound the shovel makes trying to crack its surface.