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E ‘V I BY KURT HEINZELMAN & KATHRYN RIDALL “PFLUGERVILLE FACES SPRAWL” headline, Austin American-Statesman He sprays on some OFF and goes up to the roof to scoop out wet leaves from the gutters his wife believes are breeding what’s biting her at dusk. Now the leaves of October are falling for a second time at the feet of his wife, two dogs, and three cats who are gathered below and are giving off by signs unique to each species how little they can believe of what they see. These are the leaves that will be left to blacken unbagged for months because it’s suddenly crunch-time at work for them both, wife and husband, but things will go on spawning, each reasons, exultant. There’s a place somewhere where the fall is turning, not making just another wrong turn off the I-road toward the capital and finding nothing there but Democrats calling all this up here “sprawl”this realm of cat and coyote, of deer ticks and fully preventable heartworm, where everyone is on amoxicillin, zinc, and gin, and so in love they’ll do it, all of it, all over again. for the Austin Lounge Lizards Kurt Heinzelman CASTING MY VOTE Each morning, I sit in the big red chair with Nubi, the owl-eyed cat. I sip tea, exhale a prayer or two as the poems of Rumi shine warm, honeyed light from the pages on my lap. Certainly I do this for myself. I hope the needle of my small compass will yield to some true direction. But there is more. Each day I use these sweet indulgences to cast my vote. I do not support the accusations of godlessness flying east to west, then back again. I do not support heads hacked from tender stalks, or shattered mosques and limbs, or men of faith forced to pose for pictures that can never be forgotten. Each day, in my private polling booth, I cast my vote for the rose, invisible and bright, waiting to be discovered in every human heart. Kathryn Ridall KURT HEINZELMAN is a professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. His books of poetry are The Halfway Tree and Black Butterflies. He has published widely in many journals, including Poetry and The Georgia Review. KATHRYN RIDALL is a psychotherapist and poet living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has been printed in many journals, including Pearl, Sanskrit, and The Penwood Review. Naomi Shihab Nye OCTOBER 3, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23