Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Outpost 1

The night she brought the tequila, as they lay lit by moonlight on the damp sheets, she told him she'd come from Casa Grande, leaving behind a husband in two-story stucco with a pool she always dreamt was empty, except where the water had gathered stagnant and stuck in a murky puddle at the drain. She'd brought her cat with her but had gone to work one night, her first at the casino, and forgotten to make sure he was in, then arrived home six hours later in time to find it being chased down and dragged off by a coyote. She cried in his arms and fell asleep though he did not, waking her at sunrise when he left the bed, hushing her with a finger to his lips, closing the door behind him on the way to the kitchen. The smell of strong coffee reminded her of camping with her grandparents. She smiled and rolled to the window to face the tapping rain when the first two eggs hit the skillet sizzling.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Failures

My failures are tall
Ships eclipsing blood sunsets
The sea boils like meat.

My failures are small
Things ashamed of wounded pets
Love could not complete.

My failures are all
I have to steer my regrets
Down this broken street.

My failure's a call
Ahead to unborn not-yets
Failure can't repeat.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Cabin

He was careful to shut the door softly behind him and walk his boots across the deck to the bench and put them on there lest the clomping wake her. The day's first light revealing the sharp shoulders of the Ruby range. The dog returned, legs wet, having not caught whatever she had chased from the porch to the creek when he'd opened the door. He worried she'd get in over her head one of these days, lured in by coyotes, but she hadn't yet and a dog's a dog besides.

Still. He'd found her as a lost pup and the bond was good as blood.

He rolled and smoked and considered coffee but then against it; it would wake her and she'd come to the kitchen despite his protest. Clouds like a train from the west dead on for the tallest peaks. There'd be snow on them in a month and underfoot not long after, the fall air already starting to bite skin and stiffen fingers. He looked at his hands, palms up as if to receive. Stories in those lines, arroyos etched by stars and scars. The dog's ears perked before she called for him - Bud? - then again, closer, the light on in the living room as she entered, calling again, more urgent, that voice. Worry.

Out here. The dog looking at his eyes for the next cue. Out here, on the deck. He heard the toilet flush, wondered if she'd thrown up again. He stood to go inside when she opened the door, stepping out, one hand holding it open, the other tucking her gown in beneath the belly of her early pregnancy.

The dog waited, looking from one to the other as the husband and wife surveyed each other in silence. In July there'd be another and they would be a family.



He walked off the porch to the woodpile and gathered an armful, then back into the house as she held the door, the dog last in when she nodded. She lingered a moment, closed her eyes.


She barely smiled and went inside, locking the door behind her.