Articles/Essays – Volume 22, No. 3
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Here, rock has a soft face
and wind moves above like spirit.
I listen down the long slant
of switchback trails, steps carved
where red rock accordions through the canyon.
Lodgepole ladders reach the base of the dwelling:
three stories in places, a hundred stone rooms.
Noon heat wavers from fire pits
of the opened kivas. Brief shadows
at a window, footfall
on the terrace stone.
Far beneath the overhang, where full light
never touches, the dark cool
of heavy shade: cupped imprints along walls
collecting ghost water, sudden rivulets
filtered from the green table.
Grains stored in the cool caverns.
Despite the cords that keep us
from all but a sampling, I move in
and in. The quiet ripens
when the hikers leave.
Anasazi women felt
safe here, giving birth: a new cry
echoing off cascades of stone,
stilling the men
at worship below in the kiva.
from the rock as I place my palm:
a hollow, round from grinding,
the flushed pulse
from the sandstone walls.