Winter 2012, #18



end of day/Texas wind

I was not raised
to be genteel nor feeble
yet the heat that blows across my face
is barbarous and cruel

I drive into the pinewoods,
settle in the shade,
shadows flow across my back
like waves upon the Galveston sand shore

when the dust picks up like this
we lean against the running boards
and eat our meager meal
then settle in for all the needs of night

whoever has the turn to watch and wake
will spend the hours picking grit
from grim and anxious teeth

is this the glamour they describe
when they write about our run?
I feel the shadows coil around me,
press my tired head against the weedy ground

when we drive this way

when we drive this way I like to watch the blur of trees in the dusty day, the way they turn to blue at a certain hour and I brush my hand across the cotton skirt to feel the hips rise up against my fingertips, we drive so long and fast I forget I wear my bones some days

when we stop in the cool of the shade bumping through the low brush and into a hidden spot Clyde takes out the blanket and spreads it out atop the dry grass, wild carrot lazy in the air on either side and the sun low romance, makes me pull my hair down smooth across my cheeks, plump up my beret

he opens the door to me, the brown of his eyes so dark , his small hand slips behind my back and one beneath my knees so slow the pain still there and then I'm up and tuck my head below the door and out into the hot still air hoping for some breeze

we lie upon the blanket, eat the beans and maybe find some little scraps of meat, share it out with care there is so little now and I know I am not the pretty thing I used to be, how long will he still love me when I look like this

he says I am a liar and always sweet but he is that way, only, I do love him so, when will we die and will it be together right away or will there be some long slow time of grief, a vast and haunting dream