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The County Seat of Presidio County | The Nation

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The County Seat of Presidio County

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One thinks of boats this far from water
then goes back to just so crushing into sculpture
the rear and forward quarter panels
of three cars pasteled for half a century
by the Big Bend sun, by the windy grit,
tarantula spit, and even piercing starlight
for that singular space in the mind of art:
an abandoned barracks in afternoon’s half-shadow.
Even in winter, it’s a long way for the glare
to chariot his old welder across the sky. 

Boyd Elder sweeps the wasps from Prada Marfa
a good twenty miles from Marfa proper.
Someone else hates that someone by accident
swept the Russian schoolhouse everyone loves
to hate. A colossal horseshoe crucified
with a ridiculous man-sized nail against the sky
casts the shadow of a sickle and hammer.
Yuccas lean for decades, and the rust on all
maybe-likes the sun. After a downpour flees
east to Alpine, it’s best to shake your head
at the green that nearly tries. It didn’t rain last year,
and it won’t rain this year, says the mayor
to the hung-over travelers who could be artists,
and one of them writes this in a notebook
to an angel he saw late last night down the long
Judd-red counter of the convenience store,
her entire right shoulder’s agave-blue agave
  tattoo lit by the cash register candy bar light.
She bought cigarettes as they locked the doors.
Who could know she would come all this way
with her soft bangs, her confident nostrils,
and that utterly touchable old white sweater?
He hopes deeply she might run him over
with the land yacht of her prevailing aesthetic.

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