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.