Becoming Prodigal


Asphalt carpet before us, a
flat, empty Texas road
not unlike the winding voice of Hope
Sandoval on tape, singing of home.
Beside me, you sleep like the dead,
and the dusk is mine.

Undulations of desert tones and then blushing
over limber grass in wooden hues, over the
metal stitching of uncoached railroad in the plain.
Cat Tails milky-tipped line mossy, still ponds.

A sudden single burst of flame, crimson in
its tufts and bones and twining
Niconian along it's other half, the bright
invitation of serpent green.
Such a tree can only be autumnal.

Consider this: a thing beginning together
with another
is always bound;
its vein will fall without question back
to the same bundle of root.
However far color and branch will sway,
it will always return.

There are windmills still in Texas,
nearer than the fading grey-green of
horizon-pinned hills. And

home can easily be
the space between the yellow
lines on the concrete
branded into waves of grass.

Dismissed: the carnivals spotted over miles,
skeletal arboreta dripping Spanish moss,
lazy bovine menageries.

Instead: only the
phoenix resurrection
beside so much dust.
Through the distance,
this single breach of the pale.

Saba Syed Razvi