It is like leaving
Las Vegas, this renunciation
of neon and the megawatt blink of electric sex,
as I drive across The Painted Desert into
the high mountains
of hemlock, streams, and firs, a snow-capped peak
reflecting the sun like a cold mirror.
It is freedom to leave the tawdry, tanned hookers
and their slots, dinner shows feathered
with fan dancers
and live nude girls, stripping the strip of Seguro cactus,
the totems that made the brown land
into a sacred scroll.
I will drink the clear mountain lake to the dregs
and inhale the invisible periphery of
rarified and pure and all-knowing,
the lens of God’s eye beholding that which
is meant to be.
The eagle and the hawk ride the glory of updrafts,
spinning the sky into a soul that lives in
a thousand layers of land.
It is good to be here, good to be where no footprint
has sullied the rocks, the grass, or the riverbed of sand.