Texas (1993 v2)

Here, on this map, is Texas.
All tan and lonely.
Veiled by blue lines of highways and stop signs.

And here I am, this giant looking down on all that space
and I feel the breath of its desert on my face.

I’m on the roadside, and the weeds,
and the cactus, and the men in blue pick-up trucks
pass with their eyes below their hat lines.

Pulling my smile against my teeth so not to let the dust in.

I’m waiting for this bus. You’re already on it.
When it stops, you look out from behind the big round wheel
open the door and ask if we’ve met before.

As I climb the stairs I drop a stack of photographs.
They are shuffled down the highway by the highway wind.
Black and white and glittering like fires.

You dropped your pictures, you say.
I know, I say.
Don’t you want to get them, you say.
No, I say, and you look at me standing on the stairs to the bus
and it seems you are deciding whether or not to let me in.

It’s on that road in Texas that I see you, in a forever way
Christmas and the snow, parents and home.

I want to hold you, but all I have is this old map
and your smell in my old shirt.
You wore this one before you left.