How did the humble geometry survive, atop a ridge
of hundred-mile views, alone, severed from its once
indivisible self, the high blue-washed plains?
Inviolate, save wind, it waits...voiceless, lost to memory,
a patch of nameless dirt, an elusive isle in a sea
of glass-walled Anglo adobe. Here roadrunner stalked rattler.
Here spider wasp sipped tarantula dry. Here nighthawk
drained dusk’s teeming sky. No more. A monument
of rotted ties and chicken wire overlooks Apache Canyon,
shadowed by Apache Ridge, flute, drum exhausted, rattle mute.
Yet, the remnant endures. Its ghosts, if only in mind, endure.
My house down road, at seven-thousand feet up, sights
over Rio Grande valley—over the Pueblo archipelago.
Is anyone left in “rez” territory to decode the abandoned
puzzle of solitude? If I stood on the weed-clotted island,
I could see written beneath my feet past’s harsh divisions.
I could see once-ocean’s desert, tribe-settled, bloom
before bladed promises splintered Native soil and soul.
I could see west to Indian Country’s sacred Jemez.
See hidden in its revered peaks, scorched to stone,
Los Alamos’s cliff-shielded redoubt of atoms divisible,
dividing, dividing, dividing.