Northern New Mexico
I’m driving us along the Pecos River
to Villanueva, so you can help a father
in his thirties turn his imminent death
into a moment of kindness. His wife
is there and the three of you talk. Lethal cells
stalk him for nearly a decade. His body has
no more places to hide. I wait in the car
thinking I’m an age when your words of solace
feel nearer than far away. The one piece
of furniture you remember, you tell me later,
is a giant-screen TV screaming with violence.
You say on the way back it’s a matter of days,
a week at most. This is the way it is,
you remind me. Crisscross the state
for thirty years as a doctor, and you’re
a farmer reading clouds for rain that
doesn’t come. In time, you know.