Last Night as an American Road Warrior (2/11/2021) Gunter Hill State Park

Drinking pinot from a black box

tiny fire with damp wood

quiet except for the bass jumping, owls inquiring, screaming banshees

and the everpresent crickets like tinnitus.

*

I’m in love with the joy of the journey

as well as the harshness that pounded me

like my husband pounds lamb to make it tender.

I’m already nostalgic for the bitter, frozen Gila,

the terror ride in backwood Oregon,

the first nights on a remote river bank,

the emptiness of Death Valley

the burned joshua tree carcasses,

the broken window and freak snowstorm of Big Bend,

the open hearted Illuman men,

the emptiness of an endless West Texas drive,

The grief at the Lorraine Motel

My old lovers who still love me

and SKY, SKY, SKY

Sky so wide it hurts because it stretches you beyond perimeters.

A sky so dark that you disappearand are emptiness manifest

A sky so rich with a dying sun’s light that you gag on its beauty

A sky so threatening with frozen rain and no promise of relief

A sky so soft that you drown in ease

A longing sky

A heartless sky

A relentless sky

A strike-me-dead-now-because-I-cannot-bear-the beauty-anymore sky.

A sky as me

A sky as you

An empty sky.

*

This is neither a beginning or an ending.

The skies have taught me.

The desert has taught me.

The pain of the people has taught me.

The joy of the people has taught me.

The road has taught me.

The weather has taught me.

Raven has taught me.

Wind has taught me.

You have taught me.

And I am gratitude.

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