Georgia O'KeeffeBlack Cross, New MexicoArt Institute of Chicago

Thunderhead Disinterred, twisted among chamisa and the adobe cathedral I have come here, naked, to the bloodless ground clutched in hands of bone, a place pregnant by a thousand others' names, a thousand lives the color of earth. From a height that is above the sky the mountains lift to taste the rain; with turning wind the mountains groan of Christ, mute to my ear, the rain a rosary of beads in the dirt. In the cathedral's shadow pueblo women sit on the plaza, they are not of this time or of the cathedral; they are the pueblo and the mountain, and the clouds and the rain. Their wheat-wrinkled hands rest from jewelry in the small of the afternoon. Near them my August laughter falls dry and colorless to my feet; their silence asks the question for me, should you have come here? Did your flatland birth offer you a home where you were before? Your loneliness goes before you like a dog in the road. John Carle (previously published in Nimrod, Awards 12) Back to the Astrophysicist's Tango Partner Speaks