We look across the flat lands of New Mexico,
from a seat on the Sandilla Mountains.
It is near sunset and the whole scene looks red
and reminds me of a blazed clay shell
occasionally interrupted by the jutting of an
ancient cordillera spine. It is the backbone
of the native western earth; it is where the sun
was stored at night for safekeeping, away from
the Old World’s shores. We watch low clouds
cross below us, stoking the hard earth with
their shadows, and I imagine they must cool
whatever life there is down there. It is hard
to see anything but red, red earth. Hard to
imagine anything good growing here.
And she just sits next to me in silence, too.
Looking out and imagining who knows what.
She is quiet and unwilling to pose for a picture,
unwilling to participate in the pure illusion of a moment.
Instead she sits next to me looking out at the horizon,
like a person sitting at the bottom of the ocean
Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.
* NOTE ABOUT THIS POEM: This poem was originally written in 1994 and is about one of my favorite personal pictures. The picture was taken by my friend, Camille Pansewicz, and it is of my future wife and I from behind, looking out across the horizon. There are too many reasons why this picture is one of my all time favorites to explain here. The poem is not one of my faves, but it is a reminder that writing is like taking a picture with words.