You laid down roots in California, upon its grinding, shifting plates. Its metaphorical and actual flash-fires and rattlesnakes lapping at your calloused heels, which you've pressed bare to the earth as you've examined all its chaos in suitably defiant bursts. And fifteen hundred miles away I'm motionless before a desk, trying to marry words to images of you that will not leave my head. Perhaps art is mere compulsion, or just a debt that must be paid. If so, I offer every word to you in full public display. You seemed older when you were younger. Now you seem younger than you are, like your notions of self crystallized in that strong premature start. Or is it just that your convictions remain uniquely undefiled against an entire generation of relentless compromise? And so in thoughts of my mortality, I find myself wondering who in the end I will finally be held accountable to. And the facelessness of God remains an obstacle each time. And so I see my life assessed within your merciful blue eyes. Continental drift. Unseen aggregates. Over, under. Desert, tundra. Earth beneath us, still...if it be your will.