Aug 172011
 

The drive out happens in this flattening heat. Dust like a cropduster’s dust sprays out from behind the old Dodge Dart, the windshield cracked and unprotected by tape or attempts at repair. The dashboard is hard and shell-like, a dead wing flitting hotly along in the dirt. Waves of super-heated air present several horizons to the naive eye, all orange, dividing downness from the timid blue of the skies. Trees, anchored in some undetectable gush of water, watch us skip by like a flung stone. White lines on the highway, tell-tale twine slyly paid out by an Indian captive, suggest a direction. I roll up the string until my hands are mittened with it, cocooned in the silky substance, a white ball of light in my hands. Abandoned fruit stands, side-drifted lean-tos, stand up like unattended mailbox flags in front of the rusted field tractor, ticking unmoving in the pan-fry temperature. The fields sizzle with grain, matchsticks ready for sudden illumination. When the salt drops come to sting my eyes, I cannot wipe them away my hands are so full, my heart set on Half Dome, the crunch and shuffle of a good long hard hot walk, the stiff curtains of cliff after cliff, maybe the shifting curtains of Bridalveil Falls already lifting its cool tassels…. I crack a smile and stick my head out the roll-down window to dry off.

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