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The sun sets so damned slow
in this desert, from the moment
it hides behind the horizon
all the way through the red,
the orange and blue, the deep gray
to the last light of day
a woman might have just enough time
to change her whole life.
She could be smoking on the front porch
as the last hot rays paint her face
from beyond the hills. In the yellow
afterglow, she could crush out the butt
in the gravel and walk silently inside.
She could pack a bag or write a note.
Or not. And when the darkness drifts
like waves on the warm evening breeze
she could pick up her keys
from the kitchen table and see
a single planet shining
through a western window.
She could climb behind the wheel
in the empty howl of night
and turn that engine wide over.
She could go. North or west—
any direction at all—
into that pale, teasing light.
from What wildness is this: Women Write about
the Southwest (2007, University of Texas Press: Austin)
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