Going Out to Sole's Rest


go on out to Sole’s Rest
past the last city exit
get off the at the truck stop
take the old highway into dusk
after the fire last year it’s all shortgrass
white-gold in the last rays
first know a long nothing
just cheat grass and chamisa
between here and nowhere violet
beyond the firebreak melting soft
where coyotes pull down the sun
and lure the house dogs out
minstrels of the desert skirl and chime
out past the corral
no bell so sweet
the pups can’t help themselves
but pipe a dirty descant
come out on the porch
where a star falls down singing
the delicate cacophony
with a sudden snarl or itch
the cubs always miss their cue
so the highest pitch fades last
into black black
melting black hills
into blacktop
distant trucks shift down
somewhere between Indian Creek
and Mountain Home
their echo more quiet than no sound
wait, they’ll start again
turn the porch light off and listen
to the cooling air
play the Dimming of the Day
and Little Joe the Wrangler
now another mile away
fainter sweeter now they bay
and go about their business
the desert dogs sing waltz time
on the dark side of the day

The Old Actor