In this dry place

where cow skulls grin from restaurant walls

skeletons dance in the gift shop of the Chimayo Sanctuario

and lovers leap from the gorge bridge

Death feels close and friendly

In this dry place

where Duende hides among red and green chilies

and the devil dances with sequin skirted Marias

I fear living more than dying

In this dry place

I sleep too deeply

and  awake from dreams of rivers and wombs

of waterfalls and falls from grace

I dream of walls without gates

and  small dogs thrown from high porches.

In this dry place

that summons chaos and phantoms

that hides beauty behind a garish mask

and puts miles and miles between here and yonder

only death is nearby

And she asks again

Which breath were you born on?

Which breath will you die on?


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