Walk along these cobbles
drag yourself from
point to point in this well lit fort
know you are a transient
here for the now
and your now is simply
perception’s point -
search for the air
or Billy the Kid
or the Apache
is whose land
these brush strokes
to be filled in by tourist
I went to the plaza to see
but no one remembers -
the signs tell me things
but they are out of time
Things that reflect light
are left over
I do not know what these spaces are made of
What materials go into a place
What refuse was buried here
before our truth is scratched
What can be seen clearly in the shot
is what was never there
it is our time,
haunted by your idea of image
Las Cruces then the state
police, thin line up the rocky
gravel, the footsteps slow meander
past your white letter, your slow people
with their almost present
speech that races back down
the path, out the back door and out of town,
the big houses, the piling on of
whistles, low crescendos—
does it hurt to climax
at the edge of everything,
on the one slope the small sounds
of bugs, insects light on the rocks,
lights of the stadium, the roars
of tiny trees and further
to the low military-square housing
of graduate students, small
creeping academia; on the other,
the loud crunch of feet, the slope
shiny and angular like the sunlight
caught at its most expensive
angle, the million dollar views
are hidden so well behind the talk
almost heard in your windy
vocals. The ones who come here?
Hipsters, camel-backed sandals
without cars, cyclists too exhilarated
by the quiet to force a loud sound
where there isn’t any; the ones
who say they’ll get beyond that horizon
one day; and those who maintain
the neat white of your serif flag.
When my friend came to visit, she was looking at clouds
the wide-stretched land mimicking the mountain peaks
except not so hard and pointy.
They look like some place you’d like to be.
They look like some place you want
to put in your mouth and swish.
Heavy clouds shadow clouds drenched.
If we stay close enough, will we feel their tension—
their mountain-like aspiration?
I let them climb onto my tongue and
bustle down my throat—
I breathe deeply so that I won’t choke.
The land is dry and solid
but the sky promises sincerity.
It promises as we stand here by the welcome sign
a bleached out butterfly on our camera lens,
wads of tissue crammed in our jeans,
and silver car coated with dust
and wayward pebbles.