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Outside Taos, New Mexico

The topknot turned. Light struck the needled floor.
The darts of sunlight found you where you lay,
a target of entrancement, breathing pitch.
I think of all you saw that day,

but most of all I think about your face,
a zone of passing weather, reading change,
and being it, like mountain air, like heat
and cold above the cattle range.

The locked gate and the barbed wire let us in,
and then a friendly keeper turned a key.
You saw the tombstone where he might have been
and wrote, and lay beneath the tree,

and no doubt felt the ocean of your life
wash over that dry spot and drown the hour.
We took two pine cones for our cabin shelf,
expressions of a higher power

only a kind of thief could understand”
the way you stole my life, my heart. We stole
within that closed preserve to honor him,
and we are gone, and he is whole.

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