We were standing 300 miles apart
when he shouted Save yourself!
I cut the root stock with a hack saw
and thought I heard an echo on the breeze.
He ate the camarones rancheros
with greater gusto than I drank my Chilean red.
Later I stood alone, surveying the neighbor’s fence
he’d placed too close to my road.
The April snowflakes fell like parachutes
as though nature regretted the choice.
Down the hill they would only keep two goats
as pets and send the rest to heaven.
Two would mingle better than the herd
that had clung together like crystals of ice.
When he called from the outskirts of town
my cell phone was set to stun. She was still
silken and remote as infancy. The child
next to her in bed belonged to someone else.
We drove back through the leopard night,
hugging a broken line in the fog.
She was the subject of talk to follow
the wild dogs that had passed him so close
he’d drawn his gun and pressed himself
against a familiar enemy’s back.
George Guida is the author of four books, including two volumes of poems--New York and Other Lovers (Smalls Books) and Low Italian (Bordighera Press)--and the forthcoming collection, The Pope Stories and Other Tales of Troubled Times. He is also Poetry Editor of 2 Bridges Review. Visit his Web site at georgeguida.com.