Vulture of a Day


Northern New Mexico
By the time I finish shaving, without a word you’re gone.
You keep a bag in your studio, door closed to keep out the dog.
This time it’s wide open. Like all the places tempting you
to run, hide, disappear. Taos Gorge’s 600-foot drop unnerves me.
I think of jumpers like the one in the news last week.
If you wanted to punish me . . . La marca que nunca sana,
it’s called in high country, the brand that never heals.

I hold back calling your cell. It feels like a vigil. Waiting
for the surgeon’s thumbs up. Late in the afternoon it comes.
A photo of a sign in Yellowstone, AZ. The only message: Here.
It’s enough. Are we still alive? I try to give you space.
Not enough, you argue. The day’s uncertainty’s a vulture.
By sundown, little’s left—until next time.


Dick Altman writes in the high, thin, magical air of Santa Fe, NM, where, at 7,000 feet, reality and imagination often blur. He is published in Santa Fe Literary Review, American Journal of Poetry, riverSedge, Fredericksburg Literary Review, Foliate Oak, Blue Line, THE Magazine, Gravel, The Offbeat, Split Rock Review, Almagre Review, The RavensPerch, Sky Island Journal and others here, in England and Australia.


Share this Post

Leave a Comment