Prayer to New Mexico
My fifth new home--
the sun-scorched highway
from the airport so bright
it is its own source of wandering,
past the dairy yards full of cows
and their groans, to this brown,
to cacti and the Rio Grande,
that ochre stew of runoff, silt, and weedkiller.
Blessed be my newest
behind his blinds, whose smallish dog,
named for a liqueur,
does not like me, her constant bark an excuse
I will use at night for my own
insomniac paces. Porous, dark purple
neighbor in the wooze
of a cop show filmed live
all over America, I know
you feel the grief of crack whores
and their arresting officers,
but don't really wonder
about this woman next door--you
know your place
in these pages of lament
we call the world.
Blessed fifth new try,
déjàvu of I-don't-know,
can I bear the bite of insects
from the holes
in yet another rented screen?
Noontimes that soap
the strip malls to a white glare?
The three kings followed
something crazy as a burning knot
of star, lugged their boxes
of exotica towards the unknown,
an immigration made simpler
and so I pray. Here you measure rain
in careful eighths. The air is thin
and old. I hang clothes that will
dry and scorch, while my lucky neighbor sits
as he often does
in his minivan, smokes,
blasts Mexican radio where every D.J.
is a revelator megawatt-strong
and I'm straining to understand. There's a vertigo
of blue at the seam of the wall
and the sky. Wind
skirmishes the dust and all
the neighborhood dogs, shocked,
chase dry thunder from their yards.
Return -- Previous -- Next
Issue #31, February, 2003 :
Santa Fe Poetry Broadside.