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October 2013, vol 9, no 3

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Doris Lynch

Taos Night

After dark in the high southwestern desert, piñon smoke coats my lungs, while a lone horse munches hay in a field of chamiza. Weaving between cars on the Paseo del Pueblo, a loose dog roams. Over my bare head, the cold mountain air swirls. Smell of skunk wafts past and then more piñon smoke. So redolent and piney, I can almost taste it. I want to climb the tallest cottonwood and grab Orion's sword. Climb el Monte Sagrado and become salt dust in the Milky Way. Instead, I wander these dark lanes, whisked along by the high desert winds. On a curved calle of gravel and weeds, I forge my way, stumbling on the uneven path hoping that a bevy of shooting stars will light my way. But the way is here, now – the earth spinning in the cosmos, my feet striding over the earth.

car lights spill
over the Sangre de Christos
calling down stars