Death Valley Epistle

Dear ancestors, I have transgressed
the boundaries of your dreaming.
I have seen a place so parched
my body cried out
on behalf of the land.

I have rued the brittle shrubs,
mourned the rabbits with parasail ears.
I sobbed over drought-rats and skeleton sheep.
I wept for the coyotes and their guile,
grieved the ghosts of twenty mules.

I stretched my laments across the basin floor.
I pressed my lips to the salt flats in supplication,
myself made an avatar for all their thirst.

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