Drag yourself to the pitch and peel of shadows undressing, slips kicked off into valley, unveiling light, moving under wingspan of hawks circling in appetite.
In the twisted joints of junipers, the ball and socket of land and sky,
you spoke upward, bristling in heat spitting chaw at your feet,
whistling some tune about bandits and cowpoke,
big rock candy mountains. Yipping coyotes sang
in the chorus of the kill, the whiff of the strike.
You woke to rain and howl, water tanks
creeping high, licking rims of tin,
no thought of drought that day.
That’s the smell of money, you said.
Honey colored grass, weeping into
the crook of rocks, moving cattle to
pasture, hearing jaws click to the grind
of feed, along with the drunken earth,
glug, glug, glug,
like a ranch hand on payday
softly sighing in the quench.
You were always best when dust settled
and the air pasted with promise, clouded
memories of a throat thick with
thirst, drowning in a past
with weather worn pages
and amber bottles.
See? you said, head lifted to sky,
and I saw, with drops upon my
face, through your paper eyes.
Rain never felt the same after
that, not even the
promises as they