Something in the ground
sparkles like diamonds
in the brilliant, scorching light.
Our arms glittered with sweat
as we made our way toward the shade.

At the foot of the tree,
the ants' meal is a grasshopper.

We squinted, turning toward the north,
where the clouds floated idly,
above the stagnant hills and valleys.

You spat onto the ground,
a cool puddle for the gnats in the hot, dry earth.

I watched a bird in the distance
jumping from branch to branch
and thought,
I could die today.

Tien Tran