The bitter things that remind us
Weeping In Page
In a northern Arizona motel room, we found ourselves
awash in the heat of our hearts, something and something
set flood to the night and we wept like raw stormburst.
I can hardly remember what it was that moved through us.
We drove sundown from the scattered monoliths of Dineh heritage, up along the wastelands of a country reformed by an absent conscience, moving through empty hectares eroded by the blood of the dispossessed that cut canyons and scarred runnels deep enough to tap red rivers in an unforeseen irony that in time would deliver us safely here.
We ran across the street for film and apple juice, something sweet
to sugar the ache, the ache that set our pores to drain the summer
night from a gather of cloudlessness that could never have summoned such a deluge. Our eyes, a swollen stain of wept clay smeared beneath the harsh lights of the supermarket, found the welcome silence comforting as we stood in line amid deflected small talk and the tangible worries that visit people as they wait for provisions that never promise a single tomorrow.
So we drank the amber blood of apples, lying side by side, ate chocolate and the bitter things that remind us that only Time has a honeyed structure, an intractable dulcitude present in the hour we spend for no other reason than to spend it together in whatever rapture overwhelms us, whatever weather ensuddens the cloaking sky whose horizons remain drawn and undetermined as the kisses we skirmish along the ridges of our skin, yielding gladly to sounds that swallow and reswallow us, over and over.
Why we wept in Page, I cannot recall. It was surely due in part to a flooded knowledge of too brief a time together, in part to the eternities we tried to fit into each night, again and again, as if they could be contained in one or a thousand. They say it seldom rains in the desert, in a late northern Arizonan desert. I know of one night that continues raining to this very day.
February 18, 2004