Tuesday, April 9, 2013

West Texas Skies

Letting the high desert air (nearly perfect and always
blue) hit my knees, the skirt of my dress a dusty
ripple. Cowboy boots made of lizard skin. City
shoes--shiny heels and sneakers--ruined by dirt.
I'd dream, sometimes, of a house not in need of a constant
sweep. The tumbleweed landscape. The rabbits my truck couldn't
miss, summer nights on the swerves of the highway.  
Scouring the back roads for fireflies each July.  
The week my dear friend in California died, and a young
man drove me around in his Volkswagen Thing, helping me
capture light with my bare hands. Fireflies, as if the pregnan
t stars dropped their babies to the Earth as fleeting gifts. I never
had a baby--my insides broke down while I chased one. I ran
all the way from California to Texas to try to take a smile inside
me and make a new person in my body, but was—thankfully—
in the end—refused. Instead, I took the blue sky as a blanket,
wrapped myself up in it, and rocked myself into the night,
I rocked myself eventually far away from this sky-as-sea,
back to the gray Pacific, where the salt air cracked my boot
soles and I unboxed my patent leather pumps, leaving stars,
warm summer nights, backyard bats and bonfires, and bumpy
back road drives, in the box, in their place, waiting for a certain
night in July, when my body suddenly remembers
the first time I watched lightning rip the Texas night.

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