Posts Tagged 'desert'

Don’t take anything personally


Just because I didn’t return your phone calls, don’t take it personally. I know my call is important to you, so I will stay on the line and be served by the first available representative, and if I hang up before my important call is answered by you, dear first available, don’t take it personally.

Don’t take it personally. I’ve cancelled many appointments, returned many plates of pasta, rejected many offers of marriage, I’ve even discontinued my membership in more than one gym. Don’t take anything personally, it’s only natural that not all magazine subscriptions will be renewed in perpetuity. Like an eternal flame at a contract cemetery, there will come a time when eternity is cancelled, when the flame is snuffed, when remembrance fades in the gradual way of worn silk, disintegrating plastic, faded photos on cracked gray stone.

I know my call is important to you, and I will stay on the line until you answer; I will put you on redial for as long as it takes; I will renew my connection with you from here until the hereafter. Don’t take anything personally. It’s as natural as an invasive vine, creeping onto the headstones, the marble slabs, the infant’s crèche in the moss-bound north. It is the inevitability, the gradual erosion of stone, the reclamation of body and earth by heavy, wet green ferns.

Even here, don’t take anything personally. Even the high dry wind carries every ash away, in the four directions and more.


In a normal circumcision, there is a little bit of drama, of course. The significance is there, hanging heavy in the air like incense. Like incense, this is a sin or a virtue unspoken. A little drama in a piece of skin, establishing forever, viscerally, the concept of guilt, resentment, forgiveness, redemption.  The connection of regions and religions speak a shared vocabulary of hierarchy, a shaking of walls. All of life is suffering. Suffering, then death.  Then feast days, the feast days of corn and mutton and fry bread and birds flying high overhead, looking down on the land of the people, fields ripe and heavy, the heavy hanging bells of Castilian guilt, the wine, the blood, the suffering of our lady, the suffering of our lord, the dragging of the cross, the piercing of the breast, the blood, the snake, the butterfly, the dragon, the quickness of water, air, light, and wind all blowing together and apart. Dust devil is a saint in some religions, you know, delivering change, confusion, delight. If someone says church to you, what do you say back? Rebirth, renewal? Rejection, redemption?  Confession, repression? The four directions, the trinity, the one-ness, the nothingness, the void? The gods reaching out are feeling us, lost little shapes in a black velvet bag – they cannot see us, just feel, the feeling of each of us is unique as every marble, every stone, every leaf, every feather.  What can be seen without looking? What can be felt, heard, smelled, known with fingertips, with breath, with thirst, with longing? Knees are for kneeling, for praying, for seducing, for begging, for holding arms up, reaching toward an offered embrace.

Predators and prayers

Plucking up my nerve, I nuzzled the horse’s neck and his gallop was reward enough.

I’m not a clean girl, I’m not that type. I’m dry, dusty, grit flying off of me and only a horse could love me I think when I run across these wild sage lands. There’s a fly riding with me today and I’m so full of love I can even sing a song to that fly, although later I did smash him flat. Horseflies bite.

However, I don’t believe in poaching on the lives of other creatures, by and large. I’ve seen spiders tremble with fear, I’ve heard coyotes stutter in the night, shedding their shattered prey, rehearsing tomorrow night’s performance as the blue night fades into the bloody morning. There’s a smattering of mortality in this nightly dance, the gleeful cackle of the successful predator, I can see the coyotes wink and dance across the river valley until they come to their cool dark sleeping spots, spelunking into quiet, damp riverbank beds. The sun comes up and makes a slam-dunk over the watermelon mountain and in the quiet sunrise every small animal hears the crunching footsteps of the big kahuna, the biggest predator with his bikes and his wolves on leash. Every den, every hole, every river nest is alerted as he walks by and they frown, concentrating on the sound of his feet, the flattened sound of his bike shoes scrimping through the still damp leaves. Each animal is afraid of procrastination, worried that if they wait too long the long thin bike man may transform into a blast of gun or a sudden flare of arrow and so they do not trust, they do not waste their time on wonder.

 Wipe all thoughts of neighbor or brother away, expunge that thought. The fear is expansive, the little ones excoriate all things man, all things man inflate, conflate, desecrate and if bunnies were vicious they might eviscerate this frightening one, only all this does is cause them to argue, germinating wave after wave of discontent within the burrow. This fall the beavers have stripped away every leaf, every shoot from every plant that grows by the river’s edge; they’ve missed nothing, the riverbanks crumbling down into the red muddy water, no place for little claws to hold onto, no way to clamber away from the water and in their endeavor to defy gravity and water and time, some of them fall in, small sacrifices made to the river gods.

Bottom feeder

another giant squid

This is what it’s like to be a bottom feeder. First of all, we love ink. Ink is invisibility. Ink is darkness. Ink is what we write our history with. Look out there, out there into the vast whiteness. It has nothing to say until the ink drops into its wide open. No turning back once the ink has been spilled.

You want to tell your history, that’s fine, nobody’s stopping you. You want to tell someone else’s history, that’s different. There’s danger there, smells like sulfur, smells like burning cactus, smells like the brushfire or the war that can rush in and wipe out an entire clan.

Once I was playing cards in the back room of a little trailer house in Four Corners and I heard the wind pick up suddenly, and it was like I could see them even from inside, tumbleweeds rushing across the black night and suddenly igniting, igniting like monks in red robes, self immolating and taking down the fragile open country and everything that lives there with it.

I understand the meditative life of the tumbleweed, I understand the need to move, to feel the wind catch and carry us somewhere new. I knew about that even before I left Navajo country after the fire. I found my home on water, water green and blue and dark, almost black, where I fell in and never went back to dry land again, not for more than two, three days at a time. Long enough to find myself lurching when I came back to dry land, feeling the hitch and pull of gravity and rotation more strongly than I felt them on the water.

My family’s been landlocked for hundreds of years, most of them. My sea ways made me foreign, weird and unrecognizable as a giant squid, coming up from the deep only rarely, with gifts for my sister’s children, and then her grandchildren, until I am the only old salt on the Navajo nation, bringing seaweed ristras and monkey balls and painted tentacles. I stay a couple days, give them the salty sweet taste of my bottom feeder’s life, and then I leave again, leaving behind nothing but a trail of ink, and a history they can fabricate from the secrets hidden in the bright open sky and the black mesa reaching in the four directions around them.

For me, I add two more directions: straight up into the heavens, and straight down, into the cold, dark waters, where the wild shy ones live, where I feel most at home.

Clovis woman

cavewomanTeddy Roosevelt’s daughter studied archaeology and she wore trousers. This was very modern and expected of her as the daughter of a great adventurer and a seeker of primitive cultures. She had a mustache, a light downy mustache, very feminine, that she bleached in her youth but rather cultivated as she grew into her identity as more than an adventurer’s daughter.

I should say that this daughter of Teddy Roosevelt is entirely fictional, and that any resemblance between her and an actual daughter of Teddy Roosevelt is coincidental. Some of the places may be real, but all of the people are fictionalized representations of a moment in history. She is the great adventurous American female. Fearless. Flippant. Carries a whip, brushes the dust off of her heavy khaki trousers and goes looking for antiquities. There she is at Blackwater Draw, cheek to cheek with archaeologists male and female, digging in the dirt, scraping, brushing and uncovering great mounds of bones. Early man. Bison graveyards. Spear points.

The air is dry and water is unpredictable. A sudden rain turns the excavation site into a gullywash out of which a sudden chorus of frogs announces the tendency of water and water creatures to hide just below the surface. They drink gin in the starlight while frogs serenade them, cicadas making a counterpoint and diggers singing the juke joint songs of the day. They draw mammoths in the dirt with pointed sticks – here, we see a spear point that wounds but does not kill the beast. It wanders off and is found 16,000 years later, skeleton intact, spear still buried in the ancient scapula. This is tangible evidence that we were here.

Clovis man is a manly man, with rocks and spears and flints. He is worshipping life and water and the blood of animals long before Teddy Roosevelt puts on his pith helmet and carries the swaggering bravery of the American West to the White House. Clovis man eats whatever is there: roots, bugs, cuddly small mammals, frogs in the wet season. But he dreams of meat. Big meat. Meat on the hoof. Clovis man invented barbecue, Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter is sure.

Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter, whose name is Clarissa, adores Clovis man. She imagines him rolling his own cigarettes, out of the locoweed that surfaces in these dig sites periodically. She smokes along with him and looks up at the stars, whirling now in the big universe just as they did in the night visions of Clovis man. When she pictures him, he is well dressed, in skins that cover his private parts but show the sinewy legs, and with shoes. She pictures him in rope sandals, and she pictures him drawing in the sand with a sharp stick, just as she is doing now.  The eminent archaeologist on the dig, Dr. Edgar Howard, makes an occasional effort to get close to Clarissa, but in her imagination she is having a joyous fling with the first real man in America. She imagines showing him the first locomotive, the first printing press, the first combustion engine. She looks at his spear design and she knows him for the first American, ingenious, an engineer even in his primitive state. She does not marry, and this is no surprise to her father, who til the end of his life shouted loud and jubilantly and clapped her on the back like an equal, like a brother. And indeed, they were very much brothers under the skin.

(25 minutes. Prompts: multiple words and phrases, collectively generated.)

Sky caves

Clouds, Albuquerque

Clouds, Albuquerque - from Albuquerque Daily Photo

Sky caves collect where ice and air interact with heat and wind. I collect sky caves. I collect sky caves and gather them high where the clouds are piled. The clouds are piled and at the top the ice crystals form. I wait.

The winds blow, the grasses lay flat, storm crashes against the sky bottom all at once, and then there is fire. I gather the fire and pour it into the river and it boils up again into the sky, where it hits the sky caves with a great crash and then there is rain.

There is rain, sent down by the air gods, not me; they gather the ice and shake it hard with fire. When it comes down to earth the trees hold their hands up and shake their wild heads and laugh and cry all at once. The tree people cry for water, joy and sex soaking into the roots, and for pain as their arms are broken and thrown down in the wind, and the branches lay on the ground, which is clay mud and runs red like blood to the river. The ground is a river running red with mud, my collection has shattered, glass in shards have scattered and broken against the bosque floor. The sun warms, the water runs fast, the morning birds wake. They sing the air gods to sleep, high in the sky caves that rest, now, silent and still in the thin air.


20 minutes, writing group. Topic: Ice. Thank you, Mike!

To see a storm in central New Mexico, see the link below from You Tube. My neighborhood has more cottonwoods, wild giant trees, being in the bosque itself, but this is beautiful viewing also.

** The embedding feature for this video is disabled, but you can still watch it by clicking on the You Tube logo. My understanding of protocol in You Tube is limited, for now.

Sudden spring wind


The pragmatic asthmatic relaxed into the dance, the shimmy shammy prance, the collective breath. The pragmatic asthmatic learned to meditate, to breathe into his third eye, his fourth eye, his belly button and his nebulizer. The pragmatic asthmatic is nebulous in his desires, his tendencies tender, blenderized, repressed and released from their straight jacket cover. He lives in a puddle of hope, the asthmatic pragmatic, the empresario, the unlikely lothario, the man whose breath is short but whose shadow is long. There are times when the difference between calm and comatose is muddy; he looks into the murky waters and they are shallow, shallow and guarded, a familiar habit whose resolution could jeopardize the expectations of the masses, and this is how graves are dug.

Get out a shovel, get out a pick, get out a set of orders, a tuxedo stored in lavendar sachet. Splash, I am an aqua velva man, says Sugar, sweet and barbed and brown. Sugar lives in a disco universe, percolator blurping, mirror ball twisting in dance halls, rectories, refracting, reacting, acting, profilacting. We have doubts, hesitations, regrets, returns, we have return addresses that are no longer there. Did you know that? You will send the cavalry out to rescue the distressed players of your past, and they will no longer be at that venue.

Stand on the avenue and hand out flyers; rewritten play holding auditions in fingers splayed open, dance running like sand and covering your fingers, your belly, the soles of your feet. Nancy Drew auditions for a role; so does James Bond, the Nancy Boys, the Clancy Brothers, and the Oliver Twister Sisters. There is room for all of them; you know this to be true and so you make a pot of beans and collard greens and invite them in to write, rehearse and sing. They have fencing battles with potstickers and potliquor, and announcements are posted on telephone poles and coffee shops and oxygen bars where asthmatics wheeze and elephants sneeze and this is a turbulent time.

It’s time for gravity and antimatter and Auntie Maggie and Auntie Macassar, and the two make chai for the masses, the clams and the teachers – the geoducks challenge the continental divide, and the continent does then divide and conquer. The croquet set reaches out, goosenecks grab a sweet meat, so tender, so tenderized, held and cradled and memorized. There’s a place in this world for deliberate nonsense, for accidental sense, for labels and for white out late at night.

White out, night out; a full moon only illuminates what it shines upon. I saw a cow and a spoon and dish, I saw a moon and a spoon of raspberry preserves. The crumpet dreams buttery hot dreams of jam and cream and wakes up blushing. The rushing wind calls upon us; the silenced wind sits suddenly still and we sitting in its wake are shaken, light blankets in March, hanging on a clothesline, April calling from across the field. Fool, no nebulizer needed here, no gasping shortness, no empty field. Fielded, flooded fields full, watered, impregnated, saturated, sated with spring.

(quick write – 20 minutes. needs an image. more later.)



When in the course of human events, when of course there are human events, when warm human events wrap us in parchment and sign our names, we are moved. We are moved to look out into the night sky, in search of lights. Even here, so far south, we search for the northern lights, for the glimmering surprise of celestial fractals. Fractals are proof of the inevitability and constancy of change. I have a theory about sugar crystals, about unwanted affections. I have a theory about discipline and authority, and no one will make me be silent and no one will make me say exactly what it is.

If you were a salesman, say, and you were selling blue dye in a land where blue dye had long been missing, say, then your success would depend on if the absence of blue dye was noted or whether blue dye had been forgotten. I cannot desire that which I cannot remember. Or I can desire that which I cannot remember, but I cannot say what it is. What is the word for blue dye? It is on the tip of my tongue, the tip of my tongue which is dyed blue from blueberries, dyed blue from popsicles, dyed blue from delphinium. What I need is woad, but there is no word for woad around here.


Around here, it is possible to live for months at a time without ever thinking about green. It is brown adobe grey sage yellow broom blue sky red rock white sand watermelon mountain. Then one day you are visiting your abuelita in the hospital and she is eating lime jello. She is blind, but she is eating lime jello with mandarin oranges in it, and she can taste the green even without her eyes. Tastes like grass, she says, tastes like leaves, and she smiles with her mouth and her blue tongue and you can see the lime jello in her mouth sliding down past her smile into her little abuela panza. Then she puts the spoon down and goes to sleep like a baby. You kiss her forehead and leave her there to dream of cool whip and mango pudding.

In the night skies, which are constantly turning, there are signs and symbols. A bull. A dog. An archer. A slug. A dust bunny. A cat in a yellow hat who waves as the stars roll by. Looking out the window as we drive across the desert at midnight, I see the stars rotating and dancing in the very hot sky. My hand is out the window and hot air pushes against it. I put my head on the window and it leaves a head print. I wonder if my head print is unique like my fingerprints, or are foreheads mass manufactured? One set of headbones per species, a model of the human cranium. I see the model from all sides: temporal, frontal, parietal, occipital. I am lobular, I think. I feel the bones on my head, and imagine modeling them in clay. The clay is cool, unlike my head, which is hot from the August air blowing in the car window.

A tumbleweed rushes at us in the dark, and we swerve to avoid hitting it. We wing it and it crackles under the wheels, lit and sparkling in the headlight as it disintegrates in a visual Doppler around us. It is gone and the road is a grey red path behind, a yellow black trail ahead. It is time to pull over before the hypnosis of the flashing yellow line drags us into the undertow, the undertow of road sleep. I feel the wheels pulling me down. I look at Emma, clutching the steering wheel and looking fixedly ahead of her, too much like a rabbit trapped in the high beams.

“Stop,” I say. “It is time to stop.” She says nothing.

“Stop,” I say again. “Emma.”

She looks at me. Her eyes are black. I push at her knee and her eyes quiver a little, and then she sees me.

“Oh.” She shakes her head, just a little. “Okay.”

We pull over to the side of the road. The lights are still on, illuminating the shoulder, the plastic bags, the edge of the invisible sage stretching out and out and out. We sit still for a minute, then she turns the lights off. There is nothing. Not even a truck on this road that lies parallel to the interstate, that used to be busy with little stores selling rabbit’s feet and copper bracelets. Nothing but stars, and a light whistling wind in the desert all around. I climb in the back seat and stick my feet out the window. Next thing I know, it is morning. 91 degrees, 6:30 a.m. Somewhere close to hell, but farther away than we’d been this time yesterday.

Watermelon goblin


I put a chunk of Spam on a slice of bread. I put Miracle Whip on top of the Spam, sprinkle sugar on that, and cover it with another slice of bread. Then I press it down hard and wrap it tight in Saran Wrap. When I take it out at lunch time, it is warm and the sugar has melted into the Miracle Whip. This taste is like ham baked in brown sugar with pineapple. Only without the pineapple.  I always have a Fanta Orange with this sandwich, usually warm. Then I go back to work.

There is a roller coaster back there, behind that fence. You can’t see it now cause it’s in pieces. Last month the big circle part of the coaster hit a bad chunk with 12 cars and 27 people on it and the chunk hurled out two of them. The rest were okay. So it’s behind the fence right now for repairs.

Last night I’m at drumming circle with those belicana with the good smoke. I’m wearing shiny black shoes like church only they are not shiny long, mostly covered with dust. I dance til my shoes fall off and then I think this is like revival, like someone hit me in the head and the spirit of Jesus moved in and knocked me on my ass.

I look in the mirror this morning and I think I chipped a tooth. My tongue is worried about this a lot, but the rest of me says it is something to forget about. It’s a tooth, just a tooth, that’s what the rest of me is saying, like I got all my aunts and uncles and grandmothers sitting in the back of my head in tribunal. I decide it’s time to go home for awhile. Leave the roller coaster to someone with a better head for cheap vodka.

I’m hitchhiking now and it’s pretty hot but that doesn’t seem too bad. There’s a roadside stand about 20 miles from here with good frybread. Usually they got ice for the cokes, so I get off there and say goodbye thanks to the truck driver who brought me from Cañoncito to here. His name is Sigmund and he wants to talk about cigars, but I know what cigars mean to high-talking truck drivers, so I figure it’s time to just sit down on the side of the road with some beans and a warm piece of bread and a cold coke and think about the meaning of life.

As I’m thinking about the meaning of life, I see a lady come up to the stand and order one frybread, a bowl of green chile stew, and extra napkins please. She’s wearing sandals and I can see her toes ‘cause she’s standing maybe only two-three feet away from me. Her toenails are a light blue color, sky blue, with little white daisies on them. She looks at me looking at her feet and I smile at her, hey, being friendly. She smiles back, pretty nice. In a little while, her husband comes by and they ask where I’m going.

 Up north, I say, Four Corners.

 We can take you as far as Chaco, they say.

Ok, you’re on.

And I’m in the wagon with them, sitting in the back, admiring the air conditioning.

There’s a story everybody tells about a box that should never be opened, and in the story of course somebody always opens it and then things happen. This is a story told by all the people of the world, is what my grandmother always said. In some stories the box is made of gold, or pewter, or brass. In some it is made of woven rushes, or thin porcelain or wood. In my grandmother’s version, the box is made of mud, and inside the box lives a storyteller also made of mud. He is a mud goblin, with reaching hands and a large slobbering mouth. He shoves small children and the frail elderly into his mouth and his breath is like shit and sugar and bad foot smell all rolled into one. When children eat too much candy, it is the mudgoblin who comes after them in their sleep.

The mudgoblin does not live in the small mud box anymore; we all know that. The mudgoblin was let out who knows how long ago and today he lives with us, all of us. I see him sometimes on the western slope of the watermelon mountain. I see his open mouth and his shoveling hands and I see the lights of the city. You’ve seen them, sometimes the lights of the city that used to always be bright and singing, sometimes now they almost disappear in the mud and dust as the hobgoblin sits on the mountain side stirring up his appetite for small cars and big fat SUVs.

I make my sandwiches out of white bread, not brown, not fry bread or tortillas. Cheese doesn’t work too well on these, gets a little stinky when you been carrying it around in a sack all day.

When we get to the Chaco turnoff, the lady with the blue toenails and her husband let me off and drive down the long dirt road until they are out of sight. They leave a long breath of dust in the road behind them. I watch it for about an hour, eat my sandwich, and then walk a mile or so up the road before I get picked up by Ray Sandoval, the cousin of a friend of my uncle Jim. It’s a good ride all the way until nightfall, even though behind me I can still see the goblin dancing in the raised dust, and the blind spot where lights used to shine as the moon comes out. The edge of the road is disappearing, like a chunk of roller coaster, like a piece of a car flying through the night sky and landing metal-dead face-down, a sudden piece of quiet on the sand, still warm, still almost airborne.

Strawberry desert

We sat at brunch, Molly, Sanja, Amy and I, and ate strawberries.  Amy pretended her strawberries were floating in champagne, but this time it was 7-Up, with some mint thrown in for the smell.  It was spring, but not the weekend of Easter.  I’m trying to remember, because things changed so suddenly after that.  Sometimes when I think about it, I seem to see ribbons and Easter grass, hidden eggs and baby girls in shiny pastel shoes like Jordan almonds, toddling along, baskets in hand. Here’s one, here’s one, says Aunt Jocelyn or Aunt Kathy or even young Eric, who has not yet noticed that it’s not manly to help the babies find their eggs on Easter.

But then, realistically (because realistic is what we are trying to achieve, right?), there was no park, no bunny, no pastels, no champagne. There was the sound of prayers hovering with the smoke at sunrise. There was the incense. There was that confused dream/nightmare feeling that mixes fireworks, celebration and death – even now I catch my breath when I see them go off and think about the ancient Chinese, who were artists of the exploding rose-winged dragon, and of the actual impact that blows off arms, noses, and acres of land that moments ago held what?  Sand, scarred roads, barbed wire, desert crops: almonds, sapote, dates, maybe a couple of straggling patches of naive cotton, cotton for ragdolls and memories?

Ragdolls and memories are wrapped bandages, wrapped bandages. There is a smell like saints. Why are saints all about suffering and death, I wonder as I eat strawberries with Molly, Sanja and Amy. They have forgotten – have they forgotten? – I don’t know and it is not Easter and I’ve been thinking about my old uncle Sam, who I haven’t seen since I was 7, when he was still alive and keeping peppermints in the pockets of his overalls. peppermintFunny to think of me and some old stoic Maine uncle – whose uncle was he, anyway? – sitting together on a wooden bench in front of a store where he knows everyone and I know only him and how did I get there?

Sometimes I have conspiracy theories, and sometimes I am calm and whistle songs I can’t name. Sometimes I wake up and know where I am. My uncle Sam, the one who must have been someone else’s uncle, my grandmother’s lover, my funny uncle, I just don’t know, only the feel of his comfortable belly and the smell of peppermint and sawdust. I remember he whistled old songs with that younger me.


In the back room, there was sawdust and the light was thick, heavy, coming through a window that hadn’t been cleaned since sometime before some war I’d heard about but was not yet born for, and the old guys played poker back there while I looked for bugs out on the front porch. But this is this war now and I’m a girl in overalls, I’m a girl who smells like peppermint and I try to raise goats with these brown kids in this dusty compound, and I give them candy like my old uncle Sam, whoever the hell he was.

Then again back before that, before the old uncle, there was the confession of old lady saints in my grandmother’s Nova Scotia. Whatever-all did the old martyrs of Nova Scotia come up against? Nessie? Old filthy crazy-assed fishermen with one leg and scurvy? Sounds like a movie now and that makes me want to shoot something.  A can or a dove or dovethat star over there, the one that rises first and can easily be overlooked. The incidental light of a small star that probably died gazillions of years ago and someone is crying at the sight of it, crying into it like that moment really matters and the blood that was in the sawdust or the sand could be fresh and could be hundreds of years old, really, because sacrifice in the name of whatever has always been a part of us – like hardwired really – like lust, like wandering in the desert hasn’t always been there, and justice.

Amy and Sanja and Molly and I decided back then that we would stop every morning at sunrise and sunset and press our heads against the dry earth or into the cool mud of wherever our memories might take us and let the images rise. Who can live without memory, I would like to know? Who can live without memory to build and destroy those walls?  Who can live without water and blood?

Sanja and Molly and Amy and I have brunch together at least once every three months, usually at the changing of the season. I got a tattoo after I got home. Molly says her head is tattoo enough; Sanja strokes the fading marks trailing down her neck. Amy laughs more than all of us and brings strawberries every time, in case the brunch menu has somehow left them off. Strawberries bursting with juice, falling through the effervescence, held momentarily in space with fresh mint leaves. We make our toast – to memory – and talk for an hour, 90 minutes, about our here and now. Kisses, girls, to love, to loss, to forgetfulness, to the great deadly desert between us.

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July 2020