I’ve only seen the pavement and a few mountains of the west.
Caught a kernel of sand, one of billions. Swirling, twisting into the clouds.
Dust devils twirl in the cornfields, worked by sun-charred men wearing straw and distant gazes.
Surrounding them, the desert encroaches. Grains dissipate.
One struck my eye. Blinked once, twice, to wash it away with my tears.
I’ve cried on the saddle – not enough to apply poofide onto the leather.
Sometimes, time has me balling. Other moments the swelled, enlarged arteries, that twist between the mesas, the canyons. Curving from the heartland, never-ending. Fleeing. To the west.
A waitress delivers a stack of pancakes, cigarette in hand.
Her wrinkles- carved canyons in thick skin.
The rock isn’t red enough. “We’re all going to hell”, she says.
Unless they sell them barely for a racehorse, from their uncle arrow.
Dig up some coins in the desert rock.
Enjoy this hell while it lasts.
I’ve dreamed of a California sunset. Rosey-eyed, pink delicate wisps.
I saw my first walking to Dominoes.
A man in a ski-mask yelled at his compatriot in a minivan. Aggressively.
“Empty the trunk”.
I’ve discarded my luggage. Dispatched it into the thorns, which don’t find enough room in the desert. They grow through cracks in the pavement.
Occasionally, they scrape my legs. I graze the desert’s gristly skin.
Most other times, my body remains above the ground.
Death stares me in the eyes.
The owls, elk, coyotes glare. Flattened by the roadway. I’m forced to glance back. To not roll over them again.
There’s a lot of life in the desert.
We toss our debris into the abyss.
Bottles, shards, liquor. Clothes, for children, adults – both worn and new. A couch, a microwave.
Discarded objects decay.
Memories shrivel by the sun.
I’m melted, crawling up a rocky pass up on I-8.
Near the top stands a singular tree.
Next to it – a man, shaved head, a single braid.
He’s tying stuffed animals to the branches, replacing the leaves.
On the ground: a bmx bike.
There is no baggage.
The Apaches sell flanks of steak dangled from hooks.
Their gaze- despondent. No words escape.
A sheriff drives in circles, blocking the entrances to the nation.
His aim is to trap the residents inside.
My raw self is hung, hooked inside.
Swayed by the wind, pelted by the sand.
Latched onto the ego, grasping, clutching.
Perseverance clawing but succumbing.
There’s no grip in the grains of sand.
I fly swiftly. Unknowingly. Soaring.
Outwards, beyond my body, beyond the distant peaks, beyond.
Liberation or pain. The self or the nothing.
Too expansive to delineate.
It’s all just desert.