This is my response to Rabbits and Fire, by Alberto Rios.
Unfortunately, it's a true story.
A previous version was published under a different name in The MacGuffin in 2007.
Shooting Rabbits at Dinnertime
I briefly left the desert to visit family and see the trees,
grass, soothing rivers of the central region,
where rain is commonplace and rabbits feast
in backyard gardens, safe from burning.
Bold in early evening, one came to the picture window,
centered in silent green, frozen among fireflies,
watched us smother our salads with oil and vinegar.
When my brother-in-law wiped his mouth
with red determination and pushed back his chair,
the scrape against the floor didn't pierce the glass
and so the rabbit, hearing no cause for alarm
stayed to watch us feed; in fact, even after the first shot
hit his hindquarter, he kept wondering about
salad dressing, and his other leg ran him in a circle
until the second shot stopped it.
Now he's buried beside the garden from which he was banished,
but I returned to the west, to the inescapable
knowing about rabbits, who push soft heads
against our cinderblock walls, seeking escape
from the heavy press of heat, the burning prick of cacti at their heels.
Published in The MacGuffin, Spring/Summer 2007, Volume XXIII No. 3