I’ve been kissing trees, lately,
Arms embracing cottonwood girth,
Thick, ruddy bark rough on my lips.
Old man tree’s too old for me,
Roots like boa constrictors grope for river,
Surviving desert infinity.
But comfort he gives, as I cling to him
And gratitude I return
For his presence in this vast canyon.
The rocks are less congenial
Craggy and cold
Grotesque in their shapes.
You speak of old?
65 million years, this Navajo stone
That towers like skyscrapers
The color of bone.
Formations cascade like curtains, in folds of gray
That brush the canyon floor
Though even in the billowing wind, inert they stay.
Nonetheless, I cozy up to the hulking monster
Take a seat in his lap
Dangle my legs over the river
Rest my cheek on his chest
Listen for a hear beat, mine
And the whoosh of the wind
Brings the scent of pine
Craning my neck, I find a spot
Purse my lips, give them a lick
Then plant my kiss on his stony face
My pucker leaves a mark that evaporates without a trace.
But the rock knows, and so do I,
I’m smitten in love with this rock in the sky.
Or am I just desperate in the desert
In my solitude?
As I tromp through the sand I sing aloud
Finding, losing, finding my voice again
Practicing in nature to nurture my heart again.
Alas, tonight I’ll dine with a man,
Not a rock or tree or dazzling chunk of petrified wood
Nor a river or bird or sky,
But a human
And I’m filled with glee.
Like old man tree, though, he's too old for me.
I will not kiss his bristly cheek
Certainly not curl up in his fleshy lap
But out of my desert loneliness I shall crawl
To converse, not just sing to the wind,
Joyful to drink and eat
The warmth of human