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