I eat roasted peanuts on the porch,
watch you through the door
prepare papaya salsa there,
chiles, cumin, brown sugar, agave,
lime and red onion.

The grill gives off toasting hickory smell,
radiates heat in small waves of mirage;
I sip white liquors and tonics,
beyond ice cold and bracing,
intoxicating quinine.

At this moment, all things are possible,
the frosting of salt on oiled peppers,
fresh clean sprays of water
to raise steam off of the smoking woods,
you in the kitchen humming ancient lullabies.

White smoke rises in fantail wisps,
disappears into the day’s air, as does the day,
commemorates life’s rituals,
protects the perimeter from evil.

As stars appear,
I trace constellations older than man,
and imagine that I am among the first
to gaze upward, and to recognize pattern.

We lie on the night grass,
warm and dry on a frilled blanket
that I keep in the trunk of my car,
cleaned regularly, especially for moments like these,
when a person or two, needs a view
prone face-up to heaven.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013