Setting
by Michael Gregory

from Canyon Echo, Winter 2019

Nighthawks dipping and weaving at sunset
man o' war wings and goatsucker mouths.
The mountains across the valley going from crimson
to vermilion to ochre to blue-gray.
Light wind out of the northeast.
No rain when it comes from that quarter.
Up valley they're dropping new wells
a thousand-plus feet to pump water
a thousand-plus gallons a minute times
the number of wells for thousands of acres of pecans
for the Chinese market and ethanol corn
to feed our fossil fuel suicide trip.
Nightfall. Mars so close to the earth this summer
it’s almost as bright before the moon comes up
as Venus on the opposite side of the sky setting
toward the silhouette of horizon where the sun went down