where no two-wheel drive should go

driving off from the begay’s
means busting out the boombox speaker
and donning sequinned rainbow tigerstripe hat
and cranking some kidsize ass-shaking tunes
and stopping in the middle of the sand-dirt
middle of nowhere road
for an out-the-sunroof photo shoot
cackling our asses off and
eating square things
(cheez-its and chocolate)
in the HoTerra company vehicle
and cheering every time we
make it across a wash
(wash! we call out)
without getting stuck and
watching the mesa/canyon/sagebrush/juniper grand sky landscape
roll past as we move through it
and the brilliance and tingle of the light and
sound and the moment that is telling me i am
exactly where i need to be
and this is the only heart-dazzle i need
mosquito ridge jake says first in dine
then in english when i ask him
where we’ve been
rodeo queen i call trish
after we exit the two wheel drive
and jordan with the film crew
in his truck behind us
compliments her on
driving where we’ve been advised
that now 2wheeldrive should go
arriving at the top of a new canyon
to the sound of chainsaws at the woodcutting party
and the swirls of woodsmoke
carried on the air
while a flurry of sun-glowed desert faces
shuffle around food and clothes to redistribute
and those in the kitchen stir and serve
taking in the conglomeration of dusty jeans,
hiking boots, dreads, handkerchiefs tied at necks
(poland style) of elders
and the shimmer in the wind of ruffled/puckered navajo skirts
the gravity/sadness that
moves in about how we can’t mitosis-ize
to give support to all those that ask
we are all made of water
and calcium
and all that other stuff

danny blackgoat says
at the blessing before the dinner standing
in this windblown circle of elders and supporters
and eventually we will return
to these things

which is all it takes to feel the opening
opening further

few flecks of snow
camoflauged aginst dusk-ish cloud-smeared mesa sky
as we approach blacktop on the
graded red road
boulder walls rising
(shades of yellowgold sand)
to our right
we tried to warn him alton says
it’s different off the reservation
we used to get woken up at five
to go running and yelling
while it was still dark
and then we’d pray to both gods (sun and moon)
and mother earth and some special stars
and then we’d start the fire
alton tells us
how it was in the 70s
first shower in a week and a half
letting the seven-plus days
roll off me in the steam-wamrth
followed by a cold-plunge
the blessing of this


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