There is weather,
so says my mother to my father.
She means to say, a storm is blowing through.
He laughs because he knows that
it is true. There is always weather.

I hiked to the slot canyon today
with someone else, not you.
but you managed to tag along--
an invisible form—a child draped over
me--a presence that never really goes away.

You are a fondness that promises to be filled
by the physical
as the shoehorn of this day’s light
slides into the heel of dusk.
Everyone else gets to commute home
to be with someone they adore and despise.

Without your body attached to your affection,
technically, you are not here.
Someone else needs to tell this to the deep knowing of my heart.
It won’t hear me when I say, she’s gone.
I’m tired of talking.

You must have silently practiced the word, break
in your thoughts for weeks.
After your return from the cabin, your truth was solidified like
a desert rock. I kept repeating, are you sure?
hoping to crack you open.

I left in such a hurry that there remained
on the plate in the sink
my teeth marks in the soft heel of bread.
Who knew it was our last meal?

You have become a type of barometric pressure,
the subtlest form of weather. The most painful
for one who has become blind and must rely on other senses.

You leave behind sensations of being--
like a ghost.

Sometimes I feel your regret,
but it is not enough to bring you home.

The woman who is not you points out the
dusty indentations of what passed as rain in the night.

It looks like the markings of a fossil.

We crunch along the trail, descending towards irrigation.
The dogs have scattered out in the direction of cows.
I feel the high desert’s desperation.
In this drought, colors have faded.
I can feel you on my skin. You are still very much

Water echoes against the red canyon rock,
no less a miracle then the lives we become.
I sometimes forget how fragile it all is.

The woman not you sits down beside me on a black rock.
She takes in a full breath, marvels at how surreal this is.

Just like Alice in Wonderland.

Down the rabbit hole, I look up at the
vast, oceanic sky. I look for traces of your stormy eyes.
What I see is the lazy form of clouds, collecting, building.

All life has such urgency when there is lack.
It is not easy to hold space for the dying--so
I want to believe like children do
in the power of my will.
I will this to be the monsoon.

I will that the love I feel from you be in a form that I can touch
once more. And that love is enough to keep clouds tracking together
long enough to sustain life.

I do not want to believe that--more often then not—
thunderheads simply break apart.

I do not want to believe that when I return from my Odyssey,
you will not be home.

© Patricia L. Meek


Website copyright 2022 Patricia L. Meek
Photography by and copyright A. J. Meek