Little cowboy, painted ona paint-by-numbers picturefound in a junk shop. I have had you for ten yearsnow. I carry you with me wherever I gobecause you are so lonely and never quite makeit through to the canyon arches you're aimed at.Someone aimed you at something, forever.Kinda like me and a couple of dreams.I wish I could paint inan arrival for you.As it is, we keep each other company you and I.Your icons become my icons, that cactus presiding over yourpath, the cotton candy clouds in blue I see some days,the arid dirt and boulders, that rock face thatlooks like the snout of a benevolent large dog, neitherasleep nor threatening, like the poisedchances of my own life.
There are so many wonderful paintings,cowboy, but you and I, we are simpler than that.We are done with shades, and textures and the meaning oftilted faces in amber light --we are doggedly going, you and I, called by neither oasisnor homestead, just moving in the brash sunthat neither parches nor woos.
What I watch is your stillness, caught in neither leaving norarrival -- an image of me. I could almost take youout and feed you, put you to bed, tell you storiesof the prairie, my prairie,and I wonder if whoever made you, loved you as much asI do ... an old man, given to the soil, before he could give youaway? -- a dreamy housewife, pining for the springsthat her husband hadn't? I don't think it was a littlegirl who made you -- you are too full ofunremitted hope for a child to know much about.
Perhaps you are just a factory thing,the lineaments of stasis just right for thefrozen moment as I dream it.
Still, it gave you birth, little cowboy,I even made a journey to Saguaro, after staringat your cactus for a year. Another year, perhaps I'll become you.We want to represent our heart to others, don't we?Isn't that all we want to be for each other,identifiable pictures of what we give and can't give?
Your sagebrush is badly done, your shadowscheat, the peaked stone towers in the arroyounmatched from anything out here ...so much like me, your world,
and the flowers, the total absence of flowers,and you seem at peace with that, as ifyou sang them in your heartlike a ditty you might be humming under thebrim of your hat.
You are satisfied. I can see that,and you are better than any Moses, or extravagaria.You are my little self, what little there was, takeninto a future that never comes.Whether I have my glasses on or not,I can see you clearly,unlike what I have made of myself,where you have found a home.
I can wish you nothing you do notalready have,and that is your wish for me.