below, the desert is already tucking
itself into night, the tan mountains shining
on their western aspects, with purple robes
unfurled from their pinnacles to the east. the
land is deeply carved with light and shade, running
east to the severe corrugations of the
mogollon rim. i think,
this is a leavetaking. a plane flight. a lifting
up and a saying farewell, again, as before,
many times before, goodbye,
mother, goodbye. goodbye to your calming
touch in a terrored night, goodbye to the wooden
halls and ceiling fans and summer pajamas you
stitched for us. goodbye to the games of catch
you played with us because he wasn't there,
wouldn't be there. goodbye to the special
birthday dinners, fried chicken, rice, cole
slaw, chocolate cake. goodbye to the blue
ford, the vw convertible, the 59 buick lesabre.
goodbye to the secret way i loved you. goodbye
to it all. childhood slips and slips away, like
this desert slipping away below, into darkness,
distance, a land far away, always more and more
remote, storied, cloaked in myth. goodbye.
chiaroscuro. the desert gives it up, and is now
only an empurpled panorama, yielding up scatterings
of twinkling lights that show the settlements. goodbye.
it is all left behind. only the faint twinklings remain.
in the darkened cabin, i search through the
scratches in the plexiglass for last signs, and think
i see one more, before a bank of clouds slides by, and
blocks even those that still twinkle through