Forever Yours

  • He trudged into the desert, taking almost
    nothing with him but water and a ghost-
    ly old photo
    of a lady beside the ocean.
    That first night,
    he lay above a dry creek bed. Below,
    he heard vipers moving through the sand
    with a side-winding motion,
    he did not sleep.
    He’d grown obsessed with the notion
    of walking deep
    and deeper into the wilderness. By
    the third day, his lips were swollen and dry.
    Now he was completely isolated,
    surrounded by a desert that dominated
    with its glittering sand
    not high above, a sky so huge and blue
    that it scared him to look too long upon.
    There was nothing new
    now under his sun. By now, his water was gone.
    Day five, he quit moving altogether
    and sat instead for hours, with his photo and leather
    flask, coughing in the cool valley of a dune,
    watching the daytime moon,
    gibbous and gorged, roll by like an eroded stone.
    The sky was biblical. The sun was white as bone.
    Finally, on the evening of his sixth day,
    when his strength had all but slipped away,
    a willowy woman in a white dress appeared.
    She had long black hair, which stirred in the xeric
    air, and though his eyes were watery and bleared,
    he knew for certain who it was. And so
    it was that she beckoned him. He rose, sure but slow,
    up from the ferric
    and rust-colored sand,
    as if this is what he’d been waiting for all
    along. And,
    leaving his shoes and other belongings
    behind, he followed her into
    the drifted dunes, beneath a sky of melting blue.
    And that was it. Days later when they found his things,
    they saw the photo half-buried in the sand.
    It was a black-and-white of a black-
    haired woman, very elegant, tall,
    whose short life,
    two years back,
    had been eaten away in a strange
    Patagonian land, below a mountain range.
    That woman was his wife.

    (This raggedy poem was excerpted from Chapter 16 of More and More unto the Perfect Day)

About The Author

Ray Harvey

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning at the core of my life.

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