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From Gallup--Driving Instructions

Turn right off Sixty-Six toward Yah-Ta-Hey
on the north bound spur
that's numbered like the Beast but leads
to Shiprock. On the way, New Mexico's
Two-sixty-four is printed on the bitter ground.
What looks like snow is alkali. The twisted bodies
of the brush, the bent piņons, the rocks tongued smooth
are mute but still assert the wind's own name.

Bear west all the way to Arizona. Let your eyes possess
the clutter of the dispossessed. Two-tone pickups,
one wheel off and left to rust. Turquoise single-wides,
paint peeling, not quite plumb. Blow through Window Rock.
Climb up the raddled edge of the plateau that's cut
by the Colorado's patient knife and find the wound,
the canyon grand and unexpected where the earth
gave way. Gives way. Return and as you go
the way you came, look up: six crows roosting
on a black and yellow sign. "Turn Back Now.
Friendly Indians Behind You."

  Scott Murphy

 

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