the horizon we head towards

you know you’ve got it bad when,
on your list of very important things to do
in the remaining eight hours 
before your departure
you’ve included take photos of the cats

the ring of will’s meditation chimes
struck once at the start of his sitting
on the maroon bolster
facing into the sun-flooded southside windows
and once at the end
how the sound keeps sending itself out
long after the metal has been struck

the small pawprints in the snow
(leading under the house and
out towards the greenhouse)
revealing the mystery whereabouts

will and i getting at how people think
of the desert as a dead space,
as a wasteland
(example: bombing ranges)

the small snap of the remaining
prong on my big backpack buckle
breaking off
which sucks because i plan to haul water
with this thing
(and because plastic is depressing)
but which also taps into some kind of pride
about owning this thing
for ten years
and all the places i have been with it
the two deer that leap out
across sandhill road
(which is coated in a thin layer of snow so cold
that it crunchers under foot and tire),
they don’t know it, but they are wishing me
wild grace on my journey

reminds me of a black mesa sky i say
of the molten red line laid across 
the horizon we head towards
but it’s not just that molten line,
it’s also the phenomenon of seeing so much sky
and it’s not just the red line and seeing so much sky,
it’s also the way the sky gradients
from the richest black blue
down to that red line
each color its own strata
and it’s not just all that sky and its layers of colors
banded across it,
but the crisp cold of the outside world is made of
plus the kind of quiet that these “middle of nowhere” places carry
write a list i tell myself of everything you miss

a friend! i exclaim
to the fellow passenger
who lets me in the locked train station
and it’s not long
before we discover we both write poems
and that the origin of when writing the words began is indescernable
and at some point i move across the way
as other passengers fill the station
so we are not shouting across it
at each other

that’s a long time i say 
of the 15 years he’s been working
as an academic advisor
and i think about how i can’t say that
(15 years) about anything
minus the suburb i grew up in
though nine years in portland and
13 years total on the west coast
is close
he made it rain i say to the woman sitting next to me
who just described how the heat and moisture
from the hot water her dad accidentally left on
at his house
created condensation on the ceilings,
the table tops,
and turned the curtains into sopping swaths of fabric


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