* * * * *

coyote in the house

coyote strolls into my house,
through the back door,
on a balmy night
after the rains have ended,
a night remembered for the sound of crickets
and coyote’s toenails
tapping on the wooden floor.
coyote smells everything,
the old newspapers,
the knitting,
the bowl of fruit she finds
with one paw up on the counter,
when she also notices me -
having hoped for mice,
or duck pate -
and having gotten humans.

then, so as to detain her briefly,
i slide the door closed,
holding in her beauty,
as moonlight breaks through the cloudy night sky,
and a ban on nuclear weapons is announced,
health care is guaranteed to everyone as a fundamental right,
palestinians and israelis form one democratic state,
music appreciation classes are funded and returned to the curricula of public schools,
and a symphony orchestra of children under twelve
serenades our congress
while coyote walks round my bedroom,
squatting to pee near the bookcase,
as i pull the quilt up to my neck
and fall asleep
trusting in dreams
and awakenings
and in the morning
find the door ajar,
an old sword turned into plowshares in my very back yard,
and coyote picking through my garbage