Monday, June 29, 2020

The Desert Outside of Town

The sad trees
     Let fall their leaves.
The grey streets
     Pull down the sky.
Irregular rebar
     Rusts in the air
Above the pens of the human

Kids flip for tips in the tar
     Of the highway
Outside the papelaria and the slow walk
     Of peddlers
With masks and cowboy hats
     And ever-moving eyes
Like eagles a leap away from captivity.
     One strings line on bended knee.

The wrens converse at "Flat Earth Burgers,"
     A rancherita
Beyond the crumbled outskirt bricks,
     In the bee desert,
The other city, grand and glorious,
     Above the tableland,
Where, in the dust beyond the masks,
     What is can finally be spoken of

By saguaros all fingers,
     Only touch,
Not able to grasp, yet their stark columns
     Claim the mist,
Holding a certain code that keeps
     Its stillness
As the lights of the city tell their secrets
     Across the hills.

The horses stare, like they're guardians
     Of the quiet,
As their bells sing the chaos of Sonora.
     They look with love
At humans in their kindness, shocked by
     The whitened bones
Picked clean by jaws and sun and laid down
     Like an offering.

The snakes of low-lying limbs
     Tumble towards the sun.
The tree with peeling skin glows
     Magnificent in its umber.
The thorns weave delicate thoughts
     Around the serpentine
Webbing of the desert that all life is
     Caught within.

A butterfly escapes to the sky, where
     Fire flowers
Rise from the sea of ashen branches
     Like deer antlers
That make shapes like human dancers
     But so slow
Even the wind
     Barely moves them.