I wish I could come down from some mountain
Or climb out of some window
Or hop some low fence
And see you lying there,
With one knee bent and a finger to your temple,
In the way that made me glad that you were happy,
And sad that you were supple,
And believe that singularity could exist again
And it was there
In my arms
But your greatest feat was in denying me that simplicity,
Of identifying the final and infinite point of knowing something which could
And in that,
I know now that the only key to love, hate, ambition, and destruction
Is that forced patience
Which I hope I’m ready to give.
Summer. What a great place for us to live.
Where our feet are closest to the sun
Where your skin doesn’t pucker
Where you wipe your brow and pleat steeples into your forehead,
Where the air carries your weight too well,
Where you can forget that time does indeed move
But you still have your own heat to give,
Before your blood turns to alcohol,
Before we get fat in weird places,
Before autumn comes and steals your slow humor,
The ache of a body frozen in the simmer.
But you did always say that life is most beautiful in its latency,
And that kings only value useless things.
What does that make us, then?
Summer—what a great place for us to live.
But you forget that too,
You who are steeped in the culture of things built for warmth
You who trade cash for sweat, while your fathers did the opposite
But they didn’t teach you to listen for insects
Or wait for the sun to set
Or love with abandon
Has their summer passed?
Did they ever know to pluck the rubber of an open car window?
Did they know to tear grass and chafe toes?
The summer of the South does not employ comfort
But only reminds you of the storm within you,
The fever of your restless innards,
The thirst for your musk,
The stifling embrace of our growing star.
Summer—we need these things.
Summer—we’ll never leave.
People always treated the sky down here like it was something special. Some say it’s a clearer blue. Maybe the clouds are fluffier, and more sparse. It made no difference to me. Tried to see shapes in them, frozen, at the same time my skin was taut and my kin living. The clouds down here are just as weak as anywhere else. The wind is just as piercing, just as sweet, just as temporary.
So we stood our ground, pointed past those clouds, past that clear blue, and whispered, ‘My superior is there.’ And He was, floating through the ether, diving into my brain, reading my dreams, forgetting about my future. And that was okay. After all, this is His land. We’re surrounded by His dust. Is there space for your crying soul between the grains of sand? Maybe it’ll run to the veins of wilting grass, or one of the old shacks that pecan trees drop, or the reluctant bosom of a wild bluebonnet.
Oh, my brothers and sisters, that’s why you’re left to wander - from silt we came and to silt we are supposed to go, and yet there is no more room for our courageous, beating, wild, fearful hearts in the Kingdom of Dust. You will reach out to your love and feel only the sun on your back, the sweat cracking your palms, the sweet and just Father of Nature reminding you of your own tempest. You mask your heat, your scent, with cotton and plastic, but your cadence, your breath, is still there. So we make our own dust, whittling each other down with hope and cobbling it back together with the salve of lust.
But if it makes you feel weak, just look back to that marathon of a canvas we call the wide Texas sky, and remember that you are made of the same stuff as that crystal blue, those perfect puffs of ice and rain, the ether of an eternal Father you will never meet, and you will feel, once, finally, graciously, at home and at peace in the Kingdom of Dust.