Heap of desert grime and grease,
hideous-stained cotton, cracked buttons,
tatters of denim shirt... old man overcoat
at a spray-of-gravel, windshield glass crossroads...
as if some death-song god has staggered by.
Burned-sagebrush... charred western horizon,
a blood-boil sun curses, hacks and sputters.
The fence is torn down, but a cattle gate remains:
true-life Old West fireflies outside a railroad bar.
Pioneer monuments, burlap sack frontier beauties,
antique shop postcards: in time you'll slip away silent...
clean... squared-up in a Wrangler coffin shirt and jeans.
Hallucinatory desert hues, a steady onward...
no turning point: you're sitting a charred oak
carousel pony of prescription pain meds.
You follow a line of cracked-cedar fence posts...
wolf-blood stains on paper mache masks.
Today's clouds cobble-up a storm for mountains
beyond Spokane. Another old wisdom tooth gone...
shattered on a dentist's glossy tray, your jaw swells
to meet darkness. You drive with brights, honk
at apricot-brown heifers... moonlight-dumb on gravel.
Dozed the better part of a hot day,
dreams spiked with dental offices:
entropy lurks in ancient wisdom teeth.
No formidable rattler at evening's door.
no paired missionaries... only desert pines.
Darkness protests dawn, toss of shadow,
coffee-black streak of rock on ash-ground.
Horse-gaze, fading distant lights of town,
tangles of rusted barb wire and cedar posts....
Along with a hope-dream comes charcoal.