Friday, September 06, 2013

3 Desert interludes

1.  Death Valley Days

I’ve been in Death Valley's
heat, have seen enormous
swarms of bees collecting
by the highways.  We
were on the way
to Bakersfield--not
for the music but
for a job that would make
us Californians.
The dry lake beds
the Joshua trees
the Tehachapi Hills,
that all rejects me.  
And you?  You've seen
it more than me—
La LLorona walking acequias
long after I left Cruces.

2.  The Upper Chihuahuan

When I left Cruces there'd
been a party for my
family. Rudy had been
driving my dad’s 1989 Pontiac
Sunbird like a wild man
to get back home to ‘Burque
in time for who knows what.
I really don’t care.  All I know
was that you were there
too, moving into your
new home in the far
suburbs out toward
the Organ Mountains.
There were boxes
of mine you threw away
You know. There were
boxes unpacked, left out
to rot in the Mesilla
valley sun.  Lots of
Spiders, black widows.
The snakes of mid-summer
cooling under your patio.

3.  High Desert, San Luis Valley

It was a rotten time in that
dry cold place, even though
we tried to plant a garden.
Neither one of us could stay
whether for the deep soaking
Rocky Mountain cold,
or the space that grew
between us like heavy
wet snow.  There were
the beginnings of temptations
dreams of escape not
only from a dreary
high desert town that
wore its sadness like
a morning robe
but from each other. I
know that.  The fact
beating like my heart.

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