The philosopher said, “The miracle
is that the world exists.” We bathe
in the beauty at dawn.
– Jim Harrison (“Ghosts”)
She parts her black robe slowly,
unevenly until the long thin line
of her supine thigh grows
before a golden ribbon of light
along the Animas Mountains
as the snoring bunkhouse roars
asleep on the Gray Ranch.
I am a stranger to New Mexico,
but not Drum’s borderland songs
or the swallows glinting at first light
before me. A man can lose himself
within the darting ricochets of birds
that distract him from his fears.
Here too, she sleeps in silence
as the moon rises from her breast
in the shadow of the Sierras,
but when day breaks over the peaks,
an explosion of blinding light
can cleanse me instantly.