Bob’s Steer Head, 1936, Oil on Canvas (To Georgia O’Keefe)

Walking away from a church

in Hernandez,

I saw what was soft

about the hard.

So I climbed inside

a steer’s skull, and cycled

through the cochlea pathways

that pressed against my toes

and fingers.

I covered my

face and hands with

the odor of

sand and oil paint, and

wandered the hallways

sifting through the grains

of dust and color. I

pulled my body up

to the cheekbone’s rim and

balanced awkwardly on

the edge of a nasal ridge.

Peering out, I filled my lungs with baked air,

and viewed New Mexico

through its hollow

eye socket, dried clean

by searing sun and

acid wind that painted

with a pallet of earth

and sky.

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