How would it feel to splash
a cactus into being?
To scratch spines through the dried paint
with the end of my knife?
To pool shadows on the parched ground
and watch the thirsty paper drink them in,
leaving a crust of pigment
like dust waiting to fly.
How will it feel to wash the sky
with desert blue
then dab away invisible tears
with my tissue,
leaving perfect puffs of stark white
cloud, too thin for shade.
How must it feel to stroke the broken hills
with fleeting immortality?
To carve caves in deepest umber, layering
striation upon striation.
It’s all a glorious trompe l’oeil,
a delicious way to immerse my soul again
in the Arizona sunshine.
The painting will just be a bonus.