Monday, August 13, 2007

Arizona impressions

[written while/after looking at some of my dad's photographs from the Grand Canyon]

Arizona lies horizontal.
Sage & saguaro reach to the side, hold
light the color of sand, or the color of
an exhalation – something lilac & rich.

To take a walk is to erode to a texture, like
all I find around me:
branches on the ground weathered
like the pock-marked face of a used-car salesman,
gray but full of promises.
Every stone is almost the same color as the one next to it,
pulled & rounded from the same river & from being
skipped by the same tides of wind.
The grass is suntanned & skeptical, spiked like a Mohawk on
the head of the earth where it grows.
I can’t take a step without my boots crackling over something, &
then the mountains are framed by surprised quotes of birds.
Everywhere, I hear insects & wind, insects & wind,
a strange harmony, almost but not quite soothing,
like a lullaby with too much percussion.

The coyotes step more lightly than any animal, & run skittish
at every rustle made by their own paws.
Watching them, I want to run like they do, all grace & question.

The sky unfurls in long narrow stripes:
cyan, ecru,
rust, peach, celadon,
a banner providing no hints about the weather it shields.
But to look at the sky is to know the landscape beneath it.
Hills are truly mesas, tables, with edges blunt & scarred.
The scrub hovers close to the ground, clinging, the
way the wild animals do when they walk,
the way a nearby rider's horse does,
almost a courteous tiptoe before the majesty of this outdoors.

This is a masculine landscape,
luring the truly female from me –
It is dangerous but protective.
It is direct.
It is firm.
Its contours could be the ridges of
a man’s abdomen, or the slope of his back.
I want to lie down here.
I want to lie down & be touched, rolled,
like this place.

I want to stretch horizontally
like the cacti
& the long loping riverbed,

to be filled;

and finally
exhale, something lilac & rich
& fully weathered.



grizbaird said...

Oh man .... now I want to go hiking! (nice description)