I rolled the threadbare carpet tight

around my earthly possessions, my heart Ė


two thin blouses, a scarf, a skirt,

all of rough silk never having touched my skin


everything else jettisoned

the desert burning hard


joy too malleable in this heat

fear too friable


the sandís endless reinventions

of topography and survival my only comfort


my thoughts confounded by the sunís

incessant risings and settings


I know myself only

by the length of my shadow


and the depth of silk

coiled in that deep, transitory dark


Susan Smith Nash

October 14, 2001