Wednesday, September 28, 2016


 herman pipkin, palo duro canyon, c. 1935

cool light slanting through dust
early morning Abiquiu
 silent but for
faraway thunder

piñon, red earth, and stones laid out along the sill like prayers

and bones--possum skull, blackbird wing, the twisted horns
of a mountain sheep

I have heard the whispered "bruja!"

exile does not translate otherwise
and you alone know why I have sought refuge
here in the desert--
 that my heart is aflame with love for things both fragile and wild

and that
each day requires a ritual of quenching the heat with the cool hues of canyon and water

You write, Come back to the City

and I wrap my shawl more tightly around my shoulders
strike a match and watch the parchment burn, your words shriveling like a spell

only here can I be what I am
a woman on fire