Because, today…

From Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West

Detritus: Sierra Nevada, 1971. October light leaks in between slats of graying barn wood. A yellow stripe marks Craig’s cheek, his shoulder. I taste salt and smell the sun on his skin and in the hay beneath me that makes our bed in the neighbor’s old hay barn, a place we run to in daylight. We have other places for the night when it’s colder, another neighbor’s bunkhouse already shut up for the winter but not locked. I hear Craig’s brothers roaming the afternoon near the house on the hill where I live with Craig’s family while I finish high school. I hear the wind in the ponderosas I love as I love this boy, this man, whose skin touches mine. We think we’re hidden though the wind that slips between the long sweet needles of those big trees slips between hundred-year-old planks of even older trees and I feel a chill as the boy-man-child slips into me. I watch the yellow light on his cheek on his shoulder move like our hearts like our bodies like the day through October and all I know is this moment, this breath, his skin, my depth; I don’t know, can’t possibly guess, that he will fall beneath a falling ponderosa, a tree destined to become wood that instead becomes death. That I will leave behind in a daze of drugs the light through the cracks in the barn on his shoulder on his cheek in October and the mountains and valley and horses and rivers and all I have known up till then.

3 thoughts on “Because, today…

  1. My own Deep South brand of October light, “leaking” through my bedroom shutters this morning, brought me slowly into consciousness with an unfolding recollection of this beautiful and heartbreaking paragraph. Rereading, I realized that the feeling I had been groping for over several days is gratitude. How fortunate that I was unable to know the future and thereby rob myself of the pleasure and richness of so much present that is now past. It has taken me a lifetime to accept that, and some days I relapse, so thank you for that reminder, dear Kat, and, as always, for sharing yourself in magic sentences.

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