that’s north

not much in the way of sidewalks i
told the shuttle driver on our ride in yesterday
and today, gravel underfoot, my by-foot route confirms
is there a name for this forgetfulness
the not-thinking (forwardmoving automatic)
followed by the glance up
followed by the struckness
of seeing mountains
rising up and around
choking through the exhaust
of the main (only) strip
when i discover kit carson park
knowing i will return here
and the cemetery further up the road
warm good mornings
on the sometimes nonexistent sidewalk
and every other kindness
of strangers seeming to
extend an arm open before them
as a way of saying
you are on your way
(the desert mountain magic
has already begun)
new-to-me bird perched
on telephone wire
long coal-black tail
bright white belly
(some white in the wings when they unfold)
i walk slow close to its perch
to look as much as i can before
the creatures hop-swoops down
(update: black billed magpie)
i love your name i say to violetta
as i shake her hand
in the office where she’s
trying to recover her laptop
left in the warsaw airport
sad dog
on the shortest chain
near the end of the driveway
looks/sniffs but doesn’t even bother
to bark while i walk past
pause to pluck
desert asters
thinnest petals colored lavender
i realized it’s not that i came back (to taos) to live
michael says over a cup of green tea
sitting in front of the picture window
in helene’s house
i came back to die
(as in: a place for the body/soul to rest)
i was trying to tell which directions
the mountains are in
(to set my internal compass) i say
but i realized they’re all around me
they’re embracing you he says
the big mountain – that’s north
i’m so lucky i say
nibbling on a 6-sided tortilla chip
layered with aryuvedic spread
that is a burst of a million flavors
(and i swear i taste orange peel and
ginger in there)
to be here
warm bowl of dinner
(rice and sauteed veggies with
tahini lemon sauce)
cupped in my hand i imagine
circling around the butcher block
can see faces in the golding light

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