Listening to Carole King singing “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” from Tapestry—
I weep softly and sweetly, yearning for no one, but yearning nevertheless. I sip my coffee.
I’ve already had my trip with the morning news. Dragon breath saturates the room, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So, I retreat to the soft piano intro—Tonight you’re mine completely. You give your love so sweetly—
I’m still reading Jane Kenyon. She’s eating a tomato sandwich with her mother:
I was alert to the joy of eating
sandwiches alone with Mama, bare
feet braced on the underpinnings
of the abraded kitchen table.
I am also reading Donald Hall. Donald was almost twenty years older than Jane, yet he outlived his wife by twenty-three years. The equations simply don’t balance the way they should, or the way you expect them to. But then nothing is a given.
They wrote poems. Checked each other’s effort. Lived and died in America.
Even though democracy in America has been hijacked, and it has, last week when I drove east from California to Texas, the land still looked and felt the same. The mountains look like sleeping giants to me, lying face up. The facial features have grown familiar after forty-two years of my driving the route there and back. The woman behind the desk at the motel in Van Horn smiled and talked to me for a few minutes as if everything was still the same. People still pump gas at the stations. The breakfast biscuit at McDonald’s in Ft. Stockton tasted the same.
I love the country between Van Horn and Junction. It’s desert and yet tinted green. You can almost feel the moment when the ancient sea carved the landscape here with deep valleys. I speed through it at 80 mph, think about coming here to write, coming here to find my place in the earth. Though I won’t.
Most people just want to live. I drop a couple pieces of French bread into the toaster. Something to sop the olive oil. The music has moved from King to The Doobie Brothers singing “Black Water.”
It’s a playlist I name Laid Back Coffee.