Dusk to dawn, sleek skunks enjoy
avocados in my yard. I give wide berth.
Before the first jogger leaves her prints
on pavement, tough raccoons appear.
They pretend they don’ t hear my keys click
but they peek to make sure it’ s me.
Foxes play hide-and-seek,
sometimes on our lawn, other times
across the street, but never after seven;
and brazen squirrels eye me
from the center of the street,
dare me to approach.
Will this be a day for Catalina eddies,
clouds stacked, catching like magnets
in a liquid air swirl?
Or will it blow a fierce Santa Ana,
days of fires in the hills,
winds so fierce birds do low-crawls?
I cast a spell for Santa Anas
the shallow coast a censer
mixed with black sage, Torrey Pine,
Engelmann oak — precious oils
to fumigate the San Diego skies,
the annual burning pulse.