smoke wafts up heating vents,
yells at the television, cursing
immigrants//demands a wall.
I used to take my cats outside
to play, but then he set loose
his dog, who I tackled and held
to the ground. He said she liked
to eat squirrels, didn’t know
the difference between them
and cats. He was pleased,
unconcerned by the whining
beneath my body. I whispered
calmly into her ear long enough
for my creatures to get safely inside.
Before dark, I triple check door
locks while sipping hot tea made
bitter by droppers full of weed.
He’s yelling at the television again.
I look out on the snowy darkness,
the ice–heavy tree limb tips as bones
pointing me back to the desert.