manaña slowly turns the san juan valley into a frying pan till the sun boils dead overhead and the hot air sucks the water right out of your skin like a lover greedy with the need.
out here the mountains overwhelm the steeples, so that believers bow instead among the cactus,yucca, and other razors of faith.
redtail hawks float spread-winged in the electric blue sky like archangels above this flock on their knees who still wait with their skin leathering in the heat and lungs that wheeze in the sage and dust.
they finally break and lay back, shirts soaked from their labor, and sit in the silver shade of the piñon. no one speaks but sometimes their chapped lips move vaguely, wondering when the sangre de christo gonna wet these arroyos again.