The Desert is torrid and vast like soul. The desert is crazy and still like remembering.
Like a howl whose sound is forever. I came here for the sound of forever. To wander without foghorns or bridges. I kiss a cactus to taste the blood of my danger and, dress myself up and down with the green of every riverbank I can remember rolling in my youth. It ain’t the right shade of green, but I’m not skipping stones this time, or doing the deadman’s float.
There’s a drought on my tongue that doesn’t want to end. A draught that draws a dam in the way of seeing and posts a sign that says DRY.I am all dry. And so,I have given up. I want nothing of man. I am here in the desert because the game is different now. There is no authority but the invisible. I will walk until my mother tells me to sit down and drink sand. I will walk until my father takes my hand. I WILL WALK UNTIL I KNOW SOMETHING REAL, or I will die out here, a death that is acceptable, to me. A death the birds can partake in. A celebration of wings. A feast that has no date. Bones in immaculate scatter prepared lovingly for the wind.
The desert is so calm it makes you thirstier. And I want a pair of shoes that won’t wear out or none at all. I am spinning here, a dust devil on edge. I have nothing to give myself, even though every breath is a birthday. And I wonder why the creator has spoiled us so and what would it be like if we had to earn our breath instead of our money. And what appears appears as it is in my mind and I don’t know what to believe anymore---my thirst or my knowledge of mirage. It spins me and I break into a run and I’m screaming into infinity---you don’t know what it is YOU DON’T FUCKING KNOW WHAT IT IS!
And I wonder what the truth would be like.
And just then it starts to rain, and it’s really coming down. And i’m spinning again, and as all my colors go to mud i throw up my face to the sky, my arms dangling, i say---i wasn’t dancing for rain, i wasn’t asking you to end the drought, i wasn’t asking you for anything at all. I wanted only to offer you a little humility from such a selfish race that has lost all gratitude for the gifts you’ve given. I wanted only to keep on walking and walking until I could be blown away in your breath. Back home in pieces or into eternity, it doesn’t matter. Just something clear, like water can be. But it is not that way, now is it?
Lie down on your back and be wet. Let it flood its magic beyond wanting. It’s all so perfectly frayed and hollowed---a tumbleweed next to the moon. The sweet, mad hunger that dives so deep into the night that it becomes a whale that no one will ever see or light a lamp with. Pure radiance and wonder…thirty hour songs. You can accept yourself and all things as they are…you can. Just follow your feet my friend and don’t fight the wounds you thought had healed. But be careful what you ask for and do not forget the paradox of this offering.
Peter Miller Overton
Copyright 1994

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