(a metaphor for love)
It was a short vacation
and vision quest in late October.
A trip though Death Valley
scheduled between Halloween
and the Day of the Dead.
Jiggling on a dirt road,
taking poetic license
with the word road,
graded, sports bra required path
for vehicular use is more precise.
It transitions by way of a mountain pass
to be a steep loose sand and rock
descent through pupil dilating,
eons as artist, sculpted splendor shape
and odd but natural landscape.
No time for thought, but I
am acutely aware of surroundings
and the energy of the experience:
hairpin turn at a cliff's edge,
heavy breathing from fear
and rarely viewed hidden beauty
I am traveling along a creek bed
with a few boulders removed.
Looking at flowers clinging in cracks,
sky scraping sides of a slashing wound
in the earth that requires no healing.
I slowly continue to wind and descend
until I slide out of the canyon where
the desert vista again pours itself to fill the horizon.
Now I can think, but I cannot believe that
I saw what just passed through my life.
I move back into the salt flat desert
with appreciation, vivid memories
and my capacity for wonder deepened.
I think, how unusual it is that
exploring remote regions seems to be
a lot like love.
I drive home alone.