Set Me Down

January 2, 2018



Drove this road
A thousand times
And never stopped
But I wanted to stop
Wanted to drop
My boot heel
In the dust right here

Where everything else
Is a hundred miles away

From that greasy joint
At the side of the road
Where they take your last buck
Just cause they got you
Just cause the Flyin’ J
Is a hundred miles away
Up past the horizon’s mirage

Silver all a shimmer
That never lets you stay

I still want to give ’em
My only last dollar
For a dusty tin cup
Of black coffee
A bit of leaf for my briar
And watch the rest fly right by there
A hundred miles from anywhere

As they look for somethin’
I already found along my way

Left my heart in the dust
On a ribbon of a road to nowhere
You’ll still find my shadow there
Back broken, knees bent
Bent as my soul
That fell seven years ago
Into a cool well at a secret spring

Under a crooked cross on a holy dune
A million miles away

Look in my hands
See this dust
Take my bones
These lonely bones
And cover them up
With this

Don’t play me a dirge
Let the heat waves shimmer-dance
On my bones
On these sticks and groans
Just let the wind fiddle
A lonely tune round the cholla
On my bones

On these lonely bones
Just let the desert play

There’s a burnt ravine
Tween Hatch
And the brass of the Tucson sky
Out in the saddle-sore gulches
And wind-beaten scrub so dry
When I get too old
Take me on that long road

Till I can’t walk no more
Then set me down

On a hot rock
Under the old creosote
With the lizards and cicadas
The sun burnin’ my jeans up
My lips chapped, crinkled as a crone
As these crows’ feet in a squint
Let me taste that coppery dust

One last time let me just
Breathe it into these bones

Let my last sight be
A dust devil dancin’
Those darned quail a-skitterin’
And the mourning doves
Up on the lines above
Serenadin’ me
In peace while I lay

In the grit of a forgotten wash
A hundred miles away

At high noon
When the sun is blazin’
Burnin’ up the long long sands
Put my sweet girls in my hands
Put your cool kiss on my cheek
Don’t cry, I wanted it this way
And leave me here to stay

So far from anywhere.
A hundred miles away

Originally posted June 5, 2010


Bring Me Back

April 7, 2017

I didn’t mean for it to get so cold
Must be the air-conditioning in my soul
I turned it down too low
And now the thermostat’s broken, so
Can you hear me now
I turned off the water

Reason me back into reasoning
Help this dust settle
That my vision might clear

The dreams seem to have returned
Maybe for a little while
My heartbeat might revive
Some sort of fog rolled over
Might have lifted for a while

Breathe my breath back into me
Help this smoke disperse
That my vision might clear

I’m lifting my feet
But there’s mud stuck on them
Maybe it might wear off
Hold my hand
I can’t feel anything


April 5, 2017

Breathe you


O, sudden, slow mist
A taste of something
like feathers

Feel you, just you
I lost me
Not like you


But what you feel like
just for a moment
Silk lingering


A ribbon in the water
Wingtips broad, circling glide

O, whispers
O, under the wind
Under the kind sun
of a cool morning

O, linger


The raindrops do not stop
When they fall
upon your brow

But trickle, little tracks
upon your surface

Breathe you

This is fair
Scents of something water
Soft, seamless,


This river,
These falls,
I lost me