His tongue stretches out for miles
along desert highways, extending
into the heat-blurred horizon
toward indigo mountains. From
the tollbooth of his mouth to the edge
of the lookout over the canyon,
into that unfillable space, he sees
his voice galloping, the muscled
mustang beneath him—unsaddled,
lips frothing, sweat evaporating
from its flanks with every flick of wind
on the hot black road, leaving
in his path a litter of flattened coyote
and jackrabbit, a trail of speed bumps
he will vaguely recall as the small whimpers
of pain that were the dues he paid
when he passed through the toll booth.
Small price for floating over the edge
of the lookout, the horse between his legs
rearing in one last silent, balletic
buck of fear, the whole world bruised
in the Western sunset, before the sky
flips like a snow globe, now an ocean
beneath his feet, and the canyon floor
rushes forward to shake his hand.