Sky as soft as a good night’s sleep
pinks like pillows and dreams
the ones you don’t need to remember.
The air is absent and invisible
no burn or chill, not a rustle
no risk, just a river guarded
by reeds and miles of possibility.
The sun sets early here, slips behind
the black hills quickly, Mingus Mountain
made up like a desert bed in prickly chenille
it tucks the little city in for the evening.
Wide shadows keep tempers cool
bunnies and scrubs settle in the brush.
A skunk squeals, determined
disrupting the heavy night, twisted
sheets woven like insomnia. She heaves
dousing the air with a poignant authority.
Some desert toiler, once brave, now greased
returns to the wild, empty handed
sullen, hoping sunrise offers
another chance at courage,
for a nod or a pat on the back,
or just to bring home