( Death Valley, California, 2005)
After centuries, she made her recent
appearance here – where rocks became
ravenous for color. Blue
and lavender leaves. gold and coral
flowers. A netting of vines
that captured striped and speckled wings.
Everything bloomed. The silence
deep and low, an inflective why.
Beforehand, she wrung the sky
with cold pressure causing
rain to fall for thousands of hours.
Squirrel and rabbit, lizard and snake
took refuge underground. The catacombs
echoed songs of bone and ash; all travelers
through the desert’s house –-
its heat and dust
flint and tinder, lightning and salt.
Yet, some beautiful god
once carved her face from stone
soaking in the clearest water. A fertile look
that shadowed the land
before more storms came – filling
her features with sand.
The sorrow of want, the ambiguity
of her return.