Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2017  Vol. 16 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Independence Creek

Down around Independence Creek, the plateaus below I-10
are all the same height. If you take a photograph from the crown
of one on a humid day the air is so white, my friend,
it may seem someone has cropped the entire top of the terrain,
and that right there is Texas sky so clean and long you disdain
the ceilings of your house and any tree that might hinder heaven.
Between the plateaus grow among the crumbling rock mostly mesquite
and prickly pear and a billion centipedes in a rarely wet May
crawling between limestone rubble and jackrabbit-fur coyote scat.
Drop down to the valley floor, and up from Caroline Spring
comes the clear hovering of a smallmouth bass and his tail waving
a black flag like a lazy dog waiting for small trespass to raise his ire.
The Canyon live oaks are few and far between except where
the springs and creek can keep alive the struggle and grip.
The low clouds of morning scud along like driven ghost steer
drifting in search of grass until, at its height, the sun is a whip
and makes of the wind a long fire to purify the idea of distance.
You can’t measure the gratitude of the Proserpine shiner
in the shallows of the impossible water praising the Refiner
in the Chihuahuan Desert limestone stretches and big vistas.  

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