|Ode to My Summer Life/S.R. Karfelt|
Have you ever been carried forward on air?
Those brief moments when gravity is suspended?
Your feet barely touch the ground.
Your bike tires crunch on finely milled gravel,
But you're flying like E.T. in the movie.
Only Amish bikers move faster, fit and trim,
Their smiles powering the jet stream.
Have you ever stepped out of a perfectly good plane?
Been lifted by wind, held suspended by that invisible force?
Was all the air once this clean?
How long can this benevolence last?
Did your bare feet once touch the firm bank of the river,
Taking you past tiger lilies and spider webs,
Touching pebbly pools and punishing thorns,
To dangle in the water where you were forbidden to go?
Was a stolen butter-knife all you needed clenched in your fist,
As you climbed the smooth limbs of a tree,
To carve your name in the bark,
While whispering apologies for the desecration.
Is the scent of stone and bat guano familiar?
Does it lure you deeper into the cavern?
A whisper of where you came from,
A strangely reassuring promise of where you'll eventually return.
Will you climb the long ladder where so few tourists will go,
Up the face of a cliff as dust coats your throat.
It powders your hair and welcomes you up,
To enter a kiva where no white girl belongs.
Do you pass through the desert on hesitant feet,
Where the toll is cactus spines burrowing deep?
Where your body dehydrates into the setting sun,
And your dry tongue never soothes cracked lips,
To pay homage to Saguaro Sentinels watching with blind eyes.
Can you dip beneath clear salty water to drop down deep,
And merge with the fishes who swim past your feet,
And open your eyes to glimpse universes out of your reach,
Full of canyons and valleys and wealthy with life,
To float carried on liquid air,
Far far past your strife?