Transformation (Stories From The Hi Desert) For Manuel

Transformation (Stories From The Hi Desert)

For Manuel

Drive up the windy road

Into the land of windmills

Where the white rabbit clock

Always read 2:22

Into a world with tales of an old woman

Who lost her memory

Wakes up every morning to a familiar stranger holding a little cupcake

Every morning she is told by her son who is now also old, deep wrinkles smiling around his eyes as he holds her hand and tells her again

That today is her birthday

He lovingly sings the birthday song, in Spanish, all the verses, and she believes him every morning with a smile as they blow out the candle together and they dance around the room

Every day is her birthday

Until the morning comes where she doesn’t open her eyes

Slowly he blows out the candle alone

With the little needles of pain in his heart

The pain of the living, we who remain here

The song ends

And the little needles of pain turn into outer needles as he stands still

Silent, motionless as the house falls to dust around him

Even the gods feel his pain as he transforms into a Joshua tree

At night he watches the moon rise red and make its way across the desert sky

Chasing away the stars

A competition of light to be seen by limited earthly eyes

Our eyes cannot handle too much light

And the sky that covers the earth cannot handle too much darkness


By Jamie Shadowlight


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