Desert Sun in the Winter

Red the West
JCD Kerwin

I like to talk to cowboys in bars,
wondering where they’ve been and
what kind of dust their boots
have turned up.

I think maybe the twinkle in their eye is
a reflection of the kind of life
I dreamed of when
I was too young to realize
my rocking horse would never
take me to Texas.

Blues escapes their lips
like cigarette smoke and
I hear the twang of
sweet Carolina lullabies
when they sigh.

I smell the perfume of
the girl they left behind
when
they throw their coat across the stool
and stare,
waiting for the past to disappear
for one last time.

I talk to cowboys in bars because
I never saw the West except
in picture books and
watercolor paintings of
some blood-orange, desert sky.

I bet they see
a thousand, brilliant stars
when they close their eyes.
I bet they wish
to ride all night
beneath an indigo-colored sky…

[I’d like to be a cowboy
and ride all night until
I can’t remember
myself or here
at all.]

Dec. 2012

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