She No Longer Walks the Hills
There rattlesnakes wait, coiled like turbans
at the foot of a single ficus tree.
The hip’s lost its oil, discs bulge
in an image, the white of inflammation like sun
over the desert scattering its hot pain.
Only succulents survive here–
cactus roses in niche, palms
spreading knife leaves, lemons
on a scrawled bush now turned to limes.
She no longer ascends the path written
by those who went before.
Hers is to wander along the veranda near the gazebo,
to huddle in a child’s pose
on liquid marble in the foyer of the grand house
wondering how she will descend
past the scorpion, the velvet ants, and those black widows
who kill their husbands after mating with them.