Pecari tajacu angulatus

Collared peccary
Nick Dante



All morning,

   below mesquite

     trees, and granite


extensions, their eyes

    unveil the valley

         and all its impostors.


Even-toed bandits,

    grizzly gray,

       roam in herds:


snouts seek and dig

     for succulence.

         Molars crush


and sever root,

     cacti, and grass.

        There is enough


moisture released

    in the squeeze

       to sustain them

           for one more day.


Because, in the brush,

    they are defender,

        and they leave


the resistance

    of musk along

          the path to warn


of dominion, and the infinite

     clack of canines and tusk,

          dagger-sharp, grate


against one another to carry

    a single message:

        this range was not made

             for human impulse.




Nick Dante is a poet, essayist, and creative writing teacher from the San Gabriel Valley. Having family in New Mexico, Nick has many vivid memories from from his childhood of the mystifying landscape and abundant life of the Organ mountains, including the collared peccary.