by Katherine Hoerth
You dwarf this canvas with your piney woods,
Chihuahuan desert, every bend, plateau
and gorge. A single time zone can’t contain
your multitudes. I’ll paint you piece by piece.
First I see your brow, I pencil in
a furrowing of canyons. Then, your eyes –
bluebonnets blooming evanescently
hidden in the shadow of the brim
of your cowboy hat, skyscraper shade.
I trace the highways of your veins that lead
straight to your heart. It beats like Austin jazz.
I lose myself in the tupelo forest of your chest.
I run my fingers south across your plains,
scruffed with the thorns of everything. Your hands,
impossible to draw, rest in the pockets
of your jeans – they’re clenched and open, calloused
and tender all at once. I paint your mouth
with open sky. I paint your lips with sand.
I paint the foaming ocean on your tongue.
I wish I didn’t find you so damn handsome
after a rainstorm when your hard earth softens,
welcoming my roots, my naked toes.
Once, I saw the desert of your smile
bloom full and yellow, rife with marigolds.
Let me sketch that on your face. I’ll draw
a bridge across the chasm of your navel,
across the Rio Grande that rives your flesh.
Two Lovers and a Rusted Pick-up