Passing Through Ghost Ranch
The clouds today are worth watching. The gods are up
to something. A bird entered the white and never came back.
The desert, it’s almost like when the earth dried up
it cracked like cheap terracotta, and all the water leaked out.
You can walk all day without water because the sky said so.
Cicadas make the sound of the sun on your lips.
Earlier I was mesmerized by Cerro Pedernal, blue mesa
in a rusty dawn. O’Keeffe herself added the gold.
Always checking my watch as if time had somehow magically
leapt ahead, because out here it actually does.
The West took us for a walk: come to be cowboys,
we’re nothing but cattle who’ve left the herd in order to die.
I’m so hungry I could eat a ghost. A branch bends
beneath a fat bird—a quarter pound of meat that flies away.
by Ryan Dowling