had logo

between a woman and a house, the smallest

white farmhouse, stained gray from the wind

in a field so wide you can barely see the tiny scrub

trees at the other end. Squint and there’s the mesa

rising, up to blue, a long walk from this tired house, this

maybe structurally unsound house, this

exhaling-up-from-browned-grass house, a long walk

from the highway, the next exit a hundred miles

and it’s only just now lunch time, you’re only just now

in the groove of driving, toward San Francisco, not back

to Ohio, not back to Santa Fe, where you couldn’t

afford lunch, where you called him from a pay phone

to say sorry. To ask, Can I still come? To ask,

Has that ship sailed? (you know) And if you take this

exit, stretch your legs, park on the gravel by the ditch

and watch for hardened hoof prints in the mud, tripping

in your crusty Tevas. (you know) He probably remembers

you thinner, he loves the city, you’ve never lived

alone, never walked outside in a big-sky night by yourself

and stared up at the black, never screamed and screamed, delighted

at the sound you can make

when nobody can hear.


There is a sign on the front: for sale

by owner, this house you’ll never buy that will teach someone

else to scream all that joy, but oh, what if? Oh, the sky.

The hard ground. The way you’ll remember how

you didn’t take this exit.