By the second week I learned that Texans sweat as much
as the French, and swear even more, that you couldn’t fight one
twin without taking on the other. But the librarian would slip me
the choicest donated fiction, and I played baseball every day in the
vacant lot until sundown called the players home to black and white
body counts and cigarette commercials on the three channels we got.
Sometimes I lay in bed under the half-light of the whirring fan
blades, and dreamt of heroes and ornithopters, zebras and the scent
of chocolate chip cookies in the oven. Other nights I wondered
how words could rest so calmly on one page yet explode off the next,
or why a man would climb a tower in Austin to kill fourteen people.
Wasn’t living a matter of simple subtraction?
One by one the days parted and I walked through the dwindling heat…
Rain’s twofold curse: not enough,
too much. Still, I take comfort
even among the thorns.
There is much to like here.
Its moonlight flowers.
Paddles fried with minced garlic.
Wren’s jubilant shriek.
The fruit’s red nectar.
After a long day I saw it rise
and walk two steps to the west,
uphill, our burdens shared
yet apart. I woke to distant
screech owls purring their desires
on separate slopes. Late spring,
storms on the way, a warning.
I close my eyes and the creek rises.