Northern New Mexico
Redondo Peak hovers over the high desert plain,
over me like an ancestral church.
I call it my cathedral of conscience.
Mostly it’s a tower of silence
and stillness and listening.
It demands nothing
It is my confessor
Tonight, Redondo reminds me of years
spent in pinnacles of onyx and steel.
from which people poured like stored wheat.
I imagined mountains I’d never see
as proof against ourselves,
against wind, water and fire
Tonight, as I allow Redondo
to drown out the static of life,
wind sculpts smoke into the specter
of the sacrificial son.
My eyes sting and I smell, even taste, forests
sacrificed, atomized above the Rio Grande valley.
My reverie turns into a prayer for the dead
I hike this morning under crowns naked,
empty of grace.
blackened and flood-raw,
stand as lifeless six years on
as the cathedral is dark.
The sun’s warmth feels like a curse.