Your Sentence Is the Black Canyon

Your Sentence Is the Black Canyon

And the sparrows welcome you. All summer

you scratch in the dirt and the wind and rain erases

all of your words. The ringtail from up the draw

digs a hole in your favorite tent site. Each day

you leave and burn like a small sun. At night

you return among the cottonwood; green, golden,

bare. Time passes like an arrow over the ridge. It is

all boiling water and steam until you spill your tea

across the sand in liquid arguments. The fish

laugh at your inability to read the leaves. Your

penmanship diminishes as the water evaporates.

You go to bed tired, every night tired in this

Black Canyon you have been wandering, wandering

beneath the ribbon of star tipped sky, but heaven

is just like any other word. When the world peers down

it says we are all crazy, not much to look at, dressed

in rags and the personas of four dozen animals.

What I say is you cannot skip out on your sentence

in good conscience. It will eat at you from the inside.

My home was in the Black Canyon from the start,

rambling through words and water. Only from far

down in the cracks of the earth can the world finally

sink deep into your bones and emerge like five

shadows, a storm cloud, pricks of sleet blossoming

on juniper trees like small humble daisies.

-Cameron Scott


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