After the Election We Watch the Super Moon Rise over the Rincon Mountains
The mountains are burning and we cannot sleep.
We light candles at the Grotto where daughters toss the dark braids of sick mothers at Guadelupe’s feet, where fathers pin photos of the stricken for slivers of miracle, uphill from the Mission’s dome, White Dove catching sunset’s irridescent wishes in sky biolumenescent as plankton in the Sea of Cortez.
We breathe the dust of conquistadors who must applaud these election results caught in the tyrant’s clenched teeth calling hate from under the cracked sidewalks of the despised poor who believe in promises thin as light disappearing at our feet.
The mountains are burning out of control, flames higher than our dreams of peace, eating pine trees, the hearts of deer, flames higher than the orange-faced despot’s fiery rhetoric of fear.
At hill crest, we sit on concrete losing heat to stark dark taking desert in its irrevocable mouth, sit stunned despite the stinging bites of the fire ant colony skittering up our invading calves.
Unsheltered, we cannot sleep, see the huge yellow corona crowning, the birth of our moon closer to earth than its been since our own births more than half a century past.
We wait, women holding tight our arms against news that darkens daily, against the crisp flap of white sheets, the sneering narcissist chorus recounting rapes on TV. There is nothing else to do but lean against one another’s sorrow, our disbelief.
We’ve left our candles of hope burning in the maw of the Grotto below to witness the balm of moon rise while mountain slopes turn inferno sending contrails of smoke to choke twilight’s last blue song.
Oh, Moon, you are so late, grinding up slow behind jagged Rincon peaks, backlit with enough gleaming milk to feed thousands of refugee children hunted like rabbits by our border guards. Have you heard their small bones cry sleepless in detention cells?
We watch wildfires more immense than our nightmares consume miles of ridges, burning past our history as the super hunter’s moon blesses supplicant cacti offering thorns to heaven.
Closer we lean into our shivering until a blizzard of crushed diamond light breaks screaming white, striking us blind, cauterizing our battered hearts, rejecting the nuclear wasps of power and revenge hissing from the tyrant’s tongue.
The moon’s perfect snow glows sharp as an arctic blade slicing open our hopeless arms, baptizing our faces with reflected light, and we know no tyranny can long last under such scrutiny.
Even in darkness, doves breathe, nestled in sparse mesquite leaves. We recall the canyon wren displaced roosting in the mission’s adobe eaves with angels that have flown for centuries, moon-dazzled, drizzled by light bouncing from solar storms translated in their genes.
Moon’s ice white chin lifts for Venus. Mica glitters each of our steps over volcanic rock past the Grotto’s knotted prayers for compassion, past our long burning candles, navigating treacherous gravel the color of winter fields, taking us home, beyond any terror or grief.