one way of arriving

i like the light that leaving casts i say
when baigz asks on our way to the corral
how the last day feels
like paths trish says at the wheel
of a car called rodeo
about the way the dirt roads are made out here
nothings in the way
they can be made where people actually go
not in the general route that gets people
to where they want to go

as we once again two-wheel-drive our way
impossibly across off-road roads
this, a last glimpse
the flour handprint i leave
on jane’s sweatshirt as we
hug goodbye
how we got left on our own
with the frybread dough
(jane having to leave
to bring a change of clothes to her son
at school)
and the patting/baking adventure/attempts
that ensue and all the laughter that follows
as we imagine grandmother’s reaction
upon discovering
their misshapen chewy experimental qualities
last year, it was the
oh where oh where has my baby gone
i say stepping out of the car
onto flagstaff sidewalk
and this year it’s
my pony, jump on it

most people don’t know how to pronounce “rendezvous”
a man passing on the night sidewalk says to his group
REN DEHZ VOUHZ i pronounce back
ridiculous and waiting for the laughs
which cascade around the street corner
spotted: two cell towers disguised
as coniferous trees
red-hatted and sleepy-faced
emory disembarking from the train
with the new look of one of his front teeth
newly missing
a woman named shea
picking spilled sunflower seeds of fthe floor
behind room #15 door
the frenzy and overwhelm of
big thrift store folllowed by the grocery store
followed by happy hour at the asian fusion place
all colliding with the slowness/quite/stillness/vastness
of the rez we just drove away from
and here, at this threshold, it’s hard to believe
that either world exists
and that they exist
at the same time
mezuesa, herm/aphrodite and dishpan wuz here
-Hoe Terra 4eva!!!!

i type on the bathroom typewriter
whose make/model is the unbelievably exact same
as mine (royal, quite delux)
which is one way
of arriving home
while a long way from home
trish baigz and i playing
following the leader
through flagstaff streets
in an attempt to stay warm
and as a bonus feature: having fun
and entertaining others in the process
how it’s maybe only 20 minutes
in joe’s presence, but it’s enough
to elicit a cackle

what it feels like to return

shaky-voiced coyote howling in the day’s
pre-sun light
at the time of orange horizon flaring
against deep blue sky
how we laugh through/across language
baigz, trish, bessie and i
first, through a couple rounds of oldmaid
and then through the game of
drawing each other’s faces
while not looking at the paper
that we move our markers across
five orange slices packed in baggie
tucked into backpack
how the cells and their juice burst as i bite into
one by one on the meandering
sheepherding way home
like twins but not twins i say
as we make our way
across the scrublands
following hoofmarks
small rabbit (baby jack)
and gray beelining
who must have been there
for a while as i leaned into the edge
of the arroyo
what it feels like to return i say
when asked what i’m taking with me
and sheep poop is one of the things i say
i’m leaving behind
apple struessel cake baked on stovetop
in cast iron
sliced into gloriously large wedges
and plopped onto our plastic plates
you’ve done it again i tell trish
in her place next to me
at the table
baigz’s club beats and club dancing
with the sheep to get them
to move along while i
whoop whoop!
trish’s purple duct tape
slapped onto silver camera
to hold battery compartment closed

woven through

first/only lizard to show itself here
seen while hanging laundry
how it lies, sunning on a ripple of gray fabric
on the ground
yellowy with green/gray flecks
drip of water blooping
back into tall pot on the stove
falling from the bottom of the stainless steel lid
just-scrubbed potatoes
lined up to dry on concrete
dark red skin turning lighter
in sun as it dries
that means you’re worth a man and a child
jane says/laughs after we tell her
we’ll be trading joe and emory
out for me at the train station
in flagstaff
by late night on the mesa
i mean 6:30
i laugh
as trish mixes the two-grain corn flakes and rice crisps
puppy chow ingredients (including the
secret special feature: hot cocoa packet
with mini marshmellows)
in a big silver bowl
wherein we use the word babe
instead of peel for our three rounds
of sugar/chocolate infused/fueled
sugar-highed we decide the doc film
(that this three-person crew will make)
will be about the conflict of djembe josh
wanting to play every drum circle on the planet
and how that bumps up against the original topic
of the documentary which is
about how the film crew
came to be
keith and i unloading 5-gallon buckets
filled with water
lidded and sloshing
from the back of harry’s blue ford and line them
up in stacks along the living room
and kitchen walls
rhythm/screech/squeak of metal pail
singing against trunk
in the wind
the silver threads woven through
jennavee’s head scarf same
as the silver threads woven through
my orange neck scarf
and something about her build/shape
the creases in her face
the unsmiling but not unwarm quality
draws me in