To Someone New to the West
Singing in the dark is allowed -
coyotes will tell you,
offering voice to the sky,
sage slopes, and a young girl
out alone for the first time at night.
Together in that instant
are the comings and goings of stars,
animals of light in their underground
burrows, the wild echo of the child's pulse
as it joins a river's rolling.
If you have not found the right place,
come with me to the edge
of the sagebrush and breathe in
When the sun shudders down,
build a small fire
on the banks of Salt River.
It will help stanch the quavering.
From that close radius of light,
think of words that will see out
through the night. Write them down.
The coyotes will answer