Courtesy of Strangers

Heather Nagami

An hour past dawn, night’s cool hand hangs
back, swirling a white glove to hustle us along
La Cañada Drive.  A whistle, shrill, yet muffled, slips
through the rubber seal of the driver’s side door
as a wild fluff of fur hops from the silver cholla,
dangling from some happy jowls. 

You have to pause, lift
your foot off the gas, stare
as she stares back, waiting

from the desert’s edge for you to turn,
keep driving, so she can cross and deliver
breakfast to the pups. You go, she says.
No, you go, you say.
No, you, she says.  You.