Return to the Anasazi
© 2002 by PJ Nights

Nights she talks to him - he hangs his hat
in Apartment G-149, part of a complex
in stucco and wood a thousand miles away.
Mornings he dons his blue sweater
carapace and wears a line of worry
into the path where he walks the dog.

Home for her is one in a row
of 1950’s houses with illusions of individuality
through awnings or shutters or exteriors
in carefully chosen shades of pastel.
Sometimes her world can change,

        ~ she follows a trail of lady slippers
        into the stand of trees at the end
        of the street; the last orchid, a pale
        human heart, its contents spilled ~


but briefly, before the inevitable
rebound against chain-link.

As a young woman, she lived
on an island where her world could alter
by stepping just two feet back.

The mangroves dissolved sea-babel
on sand in a corduroy whoosh as leaves
rubbed together, opened and closed
the once brash sun into green auroras.
Her most reverent steps would vibrate
the substrata, summon the timid

scuttle of land crabs who’d roll stalked eyes
- venture far from thousands of identical
doorways only in the frenzy of copulation.
A coup on the beach by males waving
one oversized Popeye claw at females
who ran the gauntlet to spawn in the sea.

She remembers the crabs when spring rains
again surprise passion from the wake of winter.
“Just a few days”, they tell themselves,
booking a room. He stocks it with merlot
and take-out Chinese. She climbs his body,
learns the lay of his bones, counts ribs
and vertebrae. He honors old song lyrics
as he ‘licks her everywhere it's pink’.

Behind closed eyes, this world is points of light,
a mad insect buzz - she gladly follows
the will o’ the wisps, vaguely trusting
her return to geotaxis and prevailing winds
or the trail of crumbs she left

        to be gobbled by copper-bellied robins.

He carves her a new burrow, an adobe house
in the hills. They live on foragings of seed,
piñon nuts, and crops only they can cultivate.

ERWA Feb. '03

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