A Mist above the Mountains

November 12, 2005

Evaporation: the conversion of a liquid or solid into a gas. 
Under certain conditions, solids change directly into vapor,
that is, into a gaseous form.
This process is called sublimation.

The taxi driver said the increased humidity came from
30,000 swimming pools, watered lawns, and golf courses
few of them here when you grew up

Returning to your parent’s house 
now empty
familiar smells remain
old, close, and dusty

we change the sheets on your father’s bed and make love

We discard
toss out your mother’s shopping lists that go back years
on all of them she had written, “Buy Socks!?

bank statements as old as the expired medicines in the bathroom cabinet

in the desk drawer, newspaper clippings of your father’s career

Dressed in moonlight, the nest of the desert wren holds nothing extraneous and fits cleanly, precisely into the arms of the deer horn cholla

In the cool mornings we walk early
still shadowless
you point out blue gray smoke trees, occitilla, and palo verde
mountains sharp and rocky surround us

And as the sun climbs up over the walls of this valley countless drops of water are heated to evaporation
and rise from the unnaturally green desert floor

as a mist above the mountains

to come back and begin anew


Susan Keller




November 10, 2005

carnal — adj. — relating to the desires and appetites of the body, earthy

Tanya wore her sexuality like a bright red dress and for 20 years
thought she had a perfect marriage

But lust and longing permeate like smoke
and on Christmas in their ruinous middle years he told her

His secretary
a long-standing arrangement
a quickening of the pulse is all he claimed it was

but what else is there

They stayed together and when he was dying, his only regret
at least the only one he mentioned was that now
his pension would be smaller: widow’s benefits were only half

After a year of talking to him on the Ouija board
Tanya found a lover
a married man, older than she, with plenty of time on his hands

said that lying on her back, skin relaxing smooth on her face
She looked 16 again.


November 10, 2005

Thanks to Evelyn for inviting me to this blog.