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Wired Goddess

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In Winter Dog Time


Though it is below zero I must walk.


This third day of the new year fell on Taos like Dorothy’s house. Whether it killed the wicked witch of 2010 remains to be discovered.


Paralytic, All numb except wild eyes set in a tar baby wired to a post.


Only January feels this way:


Aware but motionless.

A month of chrysalis and ice crystals.

Looking into the Snow Queen’s deep north blue eyes and dying there: a glass body splayed on dry powder snowy expanse.


Horizonless and dark as the pole star is bright.


The old black dog lies motionless in a pile of brown leaves.

I have seen him there many times before.  Belly on the earth, his only chance to heal.  Part spaniel, part shepard,

part shag rug. He becomes part of the pile of leaves, part of the snow patches, as silent as the line of trees that border his sagging house.



How many times have I thought, he is dead.  Poor thing.  And then the next day he is back, faintly breathing, passionate in his stillness, agog in sleep as if sleeping for the wintering earth herself.


I walk carefully so as not to slip on the ice.  The small, tidy houses of Montoya Street look hermetically sealed, still as frozen toys, dreaming of spring antics and colored socks.


My winter dog lies as a frigid vision over the town which sleeps without knowing it, awakens into further dreaming.


Step after carefully prepared step I precede further into the stilled world of the dreaming dog.


I know that by the time I reach Kit Carson Road I will be in full immersion—in winter dog time.  Knowing without knowing, I know.  My ears loping toward every faint sound, my nose inhaling the palette of the bluish peach morning, stiff-legged, uncollared, prevailing toward someone perhaps calling my name as the cold settles further into the earth and the morning seems to stop time itself.


The heap of dog has not moved.  Somehow I know he still breathes.  I see the mountain now, indigo, watching, the only being awake in this season.