Snow at last. Blur of surprised antlers,
past the morning window where I sit to write:
An eight-point stag leaps away from the glass,
snow pawed beside the house, across white drapery past
pines towards the river. At dusk, yearling deer
gavotte circles around the naked maple. Last week
a round moon caught itself in a net of oak branches,
white pearl in a weave of strands ambered in sunset.
Three days later the sun, white-balled by heavy clouds
is caught in a similar net of tree stalks, burned
before dusk. Now all my crackling trees are afire.
Somewhere there's a desert where I want to go,
unfettered by frost's weave or winter's sulk, where
a known quality of silence, more encompassing
than the muffled quilting made by heavy snowfall,
rings off rocks, tastes like brass on the tongue.
Gypsum dust, actinic glare, alkali kiss and sneeze.
Ache for distances so private you can gambol unclothed,
naked to the sky blaze, soaking up boulder-borne heat
as tongue-flicking lizards digest a feast of cacti bees.
Till your ribs runnel with sweat, streaming tan dust away.
Some smug stillness in such indolent glow. Not only a vibrant
basking in shimmer heat of isometric lust.
Colder moons under a blank desert eye. Not a lot to do
when your hands get this cold. Not a lot to say. Ankles crack
like icicles. I hear there's a shortcut across the arroyo,
where wiser angels do not tread. Words spill over the canyon,
all fireweed and fragrance.
Random ideograms of dislocation. Last time outbound,
sunsets to take your breath away, orange translucent purple
green-edged blue teal peach, landscape with a dollop of
desert light. Disconnect, dislocate, decenter. A thread
runs through memory, links every ground you ever camped on.
A surfeit of tent, an excess of fresh air. Brewing sweet tea
over wood coals some cold blue pre-dawn, embrace
a kind of solace. Some things don't need
to be forgiven.