Owls on either side of the house in the coolest hour of a summer night when I wake to bend and draw up the sheet at the foot of the bed— relay, pause, relay, then move on a little further. I track them, one with each ear, owls in stereo, and then follow the zippering rasp of their fledglings into the same dark, branch by branch. I wait until the air has stilled once more before stretching, elbows pointed away from my ribs, letting a small sigh that won’t wake you escape, and wonder what on Earth I would ever do without you. ____
Michael Metivier (he/him) is a writer, editor, and musician living in Vermont. His work has appeared in EcoTheo Review, LAAB, jubilat, Crazyhorse, and African American Review, among other journals, and is forthcoming in Bennington Review and Northern Woodlands.