in this dusk

swirl of scent fills the room

before i register the gesture so swift/minimal, almost secret,

of harry sprinkling long specks of sweetgrass

on wood/coal-burning stove surface

________

we hear it first

on our haul out of the canyon

and then we see it in the

nothing-but-blue sky:

one plane cutting across

flanked by two on either side

military formation

i turn to ask trish

booted and backpacked

if she flipped them off to which

she responds by flipping them off

_______

small bird that i (most likely incorrectly)

identified as somewhat larky yesterday

landing today on nearby juniper tree

close enough to show its dark head and thin beak

and white breast and gray on the wings

_______

hidden in sage brush cover but 

springing/darting upon my approach,

jackrabbit and the pink of sun-shone-through ears

contrasting gray/black/white fur variations

_______

sober you up says trish about

being in this desert

that’s another quality of desert air i say sobering

_______

dropping down into the canyon

trish and i rewrite

the home song singing

it side-by-side

where boulders rise up around us

grazin i’m going grazin

i need to feed my lambs

take me grazin take me grazin

over the greenbrown sage and far away

home to the canyonland (x3)

over teh greenbrown sage and far away

_______

the canyon is hoppin today

trish calls out (trash hat on) from the

sage scrub as the white F-150 pulls past us

_______

four squares of moonlight

falling in through east-facing window

and landing on hogan floor

bright enough to be visible

still in this dusk

_______

one thing about spending six hours a day

doing a combo of trudging and sitting (that’s

what shepherding looks like) i write to amy

in this vast desert is the combination of

exquisite silence and open expanse

and how it empties/clears me out

_______

now this is a miss contest i can get behind

trish says while reading snippets from the newspaper

about the contestants of the miss navajo contest

competing to see who can make

the most frybread in a half hour and

butchering their own sheep

for an audience of elders

 

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