(In the red-rock country)
eye can follow where these strata go?
piñon branches stop sight as it flies.
air is thin, and hikers must tread slow.
striations leap and flow
canyoned pathways to each buttressed rise.
boots can follow where the rouge-red strata go.
grows porous that once wriggled, died
rained like manna through pre-Cambrian tides.
air is thin and travelers must step slow
pitch-pine campfires and a flyleaf tent
show: our love is uplift and
shapes abide, though few may follow
the strata go. The air is thin.
here moves slow.
First published in Iron Horse Literary Review Photo-Finish Anthology, Oct. 2017