Dead Horse Canyon
With regards to Emily Dickinson
In morning, we stay
on blue tarps before rolling
over on collected dew.
Sand, cuticles of dust, scatters,
slipping under and between us.
Everything is gold in the desert,
in the morning, in elemental rust.
At the river, red and green
canoes beat beside each other
tenderly. Mother, at the end
of the sandbar, bathing, spills
herself to morning silence. Father,
in a frayed camp chair, pours strong
coffee, awaits organized decay.
Sister sighs heavy, seeing
the closeness of their distance.
Conscious stillness shifts between
us, and nylon, and dew. Crumbling
is not an instant’s act: when sun
comes over the canyon, this will
ruin. We will crumble the site
slowly, as we do in mornings. Break
down tents. Haul bags to the river.
Untie anchors. Consecutive and slow,
we will move down stream.