buzzards circle overhead. three black birds circle, sway and stager midair, like they mighta been drunk. like they mighta been drunk, like i were drunk. when i was young, ma told me that these were the serpents of the sky. here to help usher a plague upon the damned. the omen birds. ‘them foul, they only bring a storm and other kinda bad’ ah heard shrieked through them paper thin walls anne from that large lonely bed for all the twenty one years ah can remember being alive. anne ah got tired. of god. of god anne ma anne all they asked. then ah came down from the fogged up hills ah left down into the barren valley. ah walked for miles, ah did. anne the skin shyly escaped from out the bottoms of mah shoes to meet the hot asphalt it had never knew at home. mah feet recoiled in their dilapitated homes on a count of the heat. anne ah walked for what most men would call a century. i walked anne i walked. then ah noticed there were some corpses laid out in the road. in a row. some road kill. down the way ‘bout a quarter mile. they jus’ sit and bake on the asphalt in the southern desert sun. so ah squint anne try anne make just about out what type of cadaver i were comin’ up on. but it’s too hot and the texture of the air warps just above the scalding asphalt which distorts mah line of sight enough that ah can’t make out so much as a horizon. so lost is the picture that some might call it an oasis. anne some might call it anne illusion.