The next morning

I followed your trail onto the road;

the same one where for years you walked.

It snakes through the desert where 

Saguaro birds flit wings so fast

they sound like horses shaking heads

when the halter’s been unfastened. 

I thought of the fan above your bed, stopped;

too cold for your beautiful, watery eyes; 

your flawless, familiar face.

I thought of your hands 

and your breath,

wanting to hold them and to hear you still.

Lizards scurried across the sand

in front of me.

They left whisps of trails

as feathers would 

before they disappeared into the bloom of 

Creosote and Whitehorn; 

green, despite the summer’s parch.

Kneeling down,

I read their marks into the shape of something I wanted to see:

a heart, 

an arrow to the sky.

Not even the warm wind arrived

without a wish for it to be more:

the wanting for a word,

or the whim of a whisper.

The trail circles around,

back to the beginning.

Coyotes have marked the ruts with 

the spread of their prints

back and forth in front of your home— 

zig-zags cut through cacti, avoiding the reaching jabs.

You would have loved hearing them the night before,

through the opened window

after you were driven away.

They were unbound, beckoning the chase. 

As free as the desert, and you,

and all of these things.  


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