2013 Art & Literary Journal Arapahoe Community College Volume XLIX

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1 2013 Art & Literary Journal Arapahoe Community College Volume XLIX 2013

2 Artist s Statement: Fired Sun Writing and photography and other creative endeavors weave in and around my daily life. I bought a Nikon D-90 a few years ago and its abilities, added to the limitless beauty in Colorado, prompted a surge in my visual creativity. This photo was taken in Littleton, Colorado, using the Nikon and is of the sunset on the night when the Lower North Fork fire be an: March, Stacia Duvall

3 i pro-gen-i-tor pr *jen*e*ter 1. A person or thing from which a person, animal, or plant is descended or originates; an ancestor or parent. 2. A person who originates an artistic, political, or intellectual movement. Founded in 1967 as Thoughtworks, Arapahoe Community College s Art and Literary Journal Progenitor adopted its current name the following year. The name progenitor is from the school motto Progenitores Sumas, for We are the ancestors, and refers to our responsibility to the coming generations. Synonyms of progenitor include originator, source, and root. The Progenitor benefits from the creative endeavors of our school, community, and the greater world for the enjoyment of all. Produced every spring, Progenitor has consistently ranked among the top college literary journals in the country, receiving numerous awards for design and content. Progenitor s 2012 edition was a finalist for a Pacemaker Award, considered the country s most prestigious award in college media. The Community College Humanities Association also awarded Progenitor 2012 second place for its Annual Literary Magazine Competition in the Southwestern division and the American Scholastic Press Association awarded Progenitor a first place award for its 2012 literary magazine contest.

4 Poetry Take Cover 1 Molly Martin Theory Of Flight, Circa Kathleen Willard 1st Place 2012 Writer s Studio Literary Contest, Poetry Monopoly 14 Abigail Warren Almost 25 Rosanne Sterne Entebbe Road 33 Abigail Warren While You Weren t in Mexico City 43 David Johnston While Dreaming of Diamonds in Wintertime 44 KG Newman Harlem Heat 50 Sharon Owens Inner City 67 KG Newman Remembering People 83 Robert King Fiction The Truth About Camels And Ducks 2 Marylin Warner 1st place 2012 Fiction Studio Literary Contest, Fiction The Cup 15 J.R. Stewart The Taste of Neutrality 34 Charles Edward Brooks War and Peace 68 Petra Perkins ii

5 Art Fire 19 Laurie Tompkins Best Of Ceramics Fine Art Juried Exhibition Do You Need A Tissue Sir? 20 Andrew Wenner Drying Out 22 Robert Schroeder Can Not Contain 24 Amanda Richardson Fired Sun 51 Stacia Duvall New Year Hoar 2 52 Colleen Daisy Weeks Colorado Autumn Blaze 54 Christine Adams Crisp Yellow Tulip 55 Christine Adams New Year Hoar 3 56 Colleen Daisy Weeks Belize 58 Joyce McClain Right View 9 Colleen E. Gaul 1st place 2012 Fiction Studio Literary Contest,Non-Fiction Outside The Window 26 Michael Eltrich Non-Fiction Sacred and Profane Dances 45 Annie Dawid Flying Lessons 59 Petra Perkins My Left Breast 79 Cindy Charlton iii

6 Staff & Acknowledgements Editor... Joshua P. Sullivan Assistant Editor/Promotions... Holly Huner Art & Photography Editor... Jason Colburne Poetry Editor... Lydia Farrar Fiction Editor... Kathryn Peterson Non-fiction Edito... Juanita Pope Creative Director... Mollie Rue Studio ACC... Brian Wright... Josh Olson Advisors: Kathryn Winograd, ACC Writing faculty John Hall, Multimedia & Graphic Design faculty. Acknowledgements: The 2013 Progenitor staff would like to thank the following individuals and departments who made this year s issue possible: Trish Angelo, Jim Cannata, Howard Golden, Jeff Mock, David Barrentine and the ACC E-learning Lab, and ACC Marketing. Also, many thanks to those who submitted their stories, poetry, and art to the 2013 Progenitor. iv

7 From The Editor: We are very excited to bring you this year s edition of the Progenitor Art & Literary Journal! While assembling this journal, the Progenitor staff, comprised of Arapahoe Community College students, discovered and embraced a theme of fire and re-growth. This theme explores a unique connotation of the word progenitor, and furthers the investigation started by last year s theme of water. We feel that while some of the pieces that we have chosen embody the often-overlooked creative essence of fire, our contributors have also harnessed a much wider field of experience. They have transformed their individual perspectives of the world into the art, photography, and literary works in the following pages. I hope that you find these pieces as enlightening as I have. The spirit of re-growth and change persisted during the design process of the Progenitor. First, after careful deliberation, the staff opted to change the name from magazine to journal, to better reflect the literary aspect of its works. A revamp of the Progenitor Online website has created an elegant and enduring design. Lastly, this year s Progenitor includes the winning pieces from both last year s Writers Studio Literary Contest and the ACC Fine Art Juried Exhibition. I would like to extend my thanks to all of our submitters, to the Progenitor staff, and to you, the reader. Without each of you, this journal would not be the same. Sincerely, Joshua P. Sullivan Editor of Progenitor Art & Literary Journal v

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9 Molly Martin Take Cover She s lighting a Marlboro Red and like a high-pressure front leaving a path of unstable atmosphere she s bounding through, storms brewing at her feet, dark clouds, thunder from tough black boots, and she s lighting a Marlboro Red and her tongue is electrified bright blue energy escapes from her mouth, lightning bursting leaving all singed before she s done, and she s lighting a Marlboro Red and in the midst of her squall, serene ocean eyes sweep carefully chosen survivors into her calm, the heart of her hurricane, and she s lighting a Marlboro Red and for a moment, blonde wisps fall quietly over pale skin like soft breezes over a white sand beach, but only a moment, then rioting gales rage again; she s gaining strength, gaining speed, barreling through, and she s lighting a Marlboro Red and... 1

10 Marylin Warner The Truth About Camels And Ducks 1st place 2012 Fiction Studio Literary Contest, Fiction The final straw snapped when Zack broke the camel. The porcelain and gold camel was the tallest animal of the porcelain crèche. Great-Aunt Myra had multiple manger scenes on display more than a month before Christmas, but when the camel toppled from the edge of the glass shelf, the old woman gasped and choked as if her heart shattered on the marble floor. Thanksgiving had barely begun, the turkey still self-basted in the oven, and already the day was doomed. The four teenage cousins had all been gathered at the table near the display, making crude comments and jostling over bean dip. Each had stood within arm s length of the crime, and each was equally careless and awkward. All were potential culprits, worthy of suspicion, yet it was Zack whom everyone automatically blamed. Zack, dressed like the Grim Reaper while his cousins were poster teens for private academies. Zack, with the tear-drop tattoo, pierced tongue and flowing black cape. Of course Zack was guilty. Out! All of you! Uncle Leon ordered when he saw the damage. He clutched a crystal goblet of scotch and water, but only a few drops of water, like at a christening for Alcoholics Unanimous. It sloshed on his vest as Leon ordered the cousins outside. Be gone, and don t return until we call for you or you re old enough to vote! No one overrode Leon s order. The teen s parents --Myra s nieces and nephews--bustled about, salvaging camel shards, fanning Aunt Myra and patting her forehead with cool cloths. Adam, Tiffany, Zack and Beth, the not-so-great nieces and nephews of Myra The Childless, filed out of her elegant townhouse with properly convincing displays of remorse. 2

11 Warner All the cousins knew they were destined for significant accomplishments, including Zack, despite his attire, yet while Leon watched from the door they trudged away as solemnly as last place entries in a dog show. But the slamming door behind them freed the pedigrees of their leashes. They raced through the November mist chasing each other, pushing and tagging, whooping at their freedom. Even Zack joined in the camaraderie. In spite of himself he actually laughed, skipping in the damp grass, his arms waving and his cape blowing, a crow flapping among peacocks. Way to go, Zachary, getting us outta of there like that, Tiffany said when they stopped for breath. She reached beneath her plaid wool skirt, fumbled among the pleats and removed a pack of cigarettes. With the flick of a tiny lighter she lit one and sucked wildly. When d you plan it? she asked during exhale. Smashing the camel to smithereens did you plan it, or did it come to you in a flash? I didn t do it. Zack puffed on the cigarette Tiffany shared with him. He said in a haze of smoke, If I d broken the camel, I d of owned up to it. Yeah, sure. Whatever. Adam snatched the cigarette that made the rounds. Watching them, Beth shivered beneath the wool of her school blazer. She squinted at the row of grand houses in the distance. Porch lights winked in the fog. In the center of the green space, a lighted grassy common surrounded the pond where cat tails and flowerless lily pads accented the water. In keeping with the gracious tennis traditions of the compound, a cabinet marked Visitors Racquets sat behind whicker lawn furniture. Beth pointed to the cabinet. Race you guys to the courts. Last one there plays suicide single alone on one side against the other three. 3

12 Warner Adam scoffed. Counting the months until Ivy League life and obviously above such a pointless challenge, he sucked on the cigarette, posturing his superiority. The others took off in a run. With Beth in the lead and Tiffany and Zack neck-in-neck behind her, the trio raced toward the courts. They slipped down the damp knoll, grabbing at opponents hair and pushing to gain space, doing anything to win. Too late, Adam tossed aside his smoke and joined the competition. Despite his best long-legged efforts and lurching attempts to pull Zack down by his cape, Adam arrived last at the cabinet. The others prepared themselves with racquets and balls. He was a poor sport by nature, and not in the mood to be humiliated by younger cousins collectively determined to blast him. Adam grabbed gear from the cabinet. Change in plans, team, he said, pointing a racquet at the nearby pond. I ve got a better idea. While the others squinted through the chain link surrounding the courts, Adam marched around the fence, past the wicker furniture and down to the pond. One quick, smiling wink at his audience, and he tossed a tennis ball into the air, raised the racquet and swung. Slowly, awkwardly, like a feathered Moses crawling from bull rushes, a round white duck flapped its wings and waddled forward. The ball blasted into the high grass at the pond s edge. The grass rustled. Slowly, awkwardly, like a feathered Moses crawling from bull rushes, a round white duck flapped its wings and waddled forward. It looked as if it had slept with its head tucked under one wing for warmth. The duck blinked up at Adam. 4

13 Warner The boy laughed, tossed another ball into the air, and blasted it into the water. A pond-sized tidal wave washed against the bank. The duck jerked and quacked. Its wings spread quickly, like a kite in a gale, and the wild flapping lift d the duck above the water. Adam stepped forward on one foot, pointed the tasseled loafer toe of the other for balance. He leaned back with arm cocked, preparing to serve without a ball. The duck flapped frantically, beating the air and honking as Adam took aim and served match point. His racquet hit the mark, blasting the breast feathers. The slam sent the duck flound ring into the water where it fluttered and flapped where it sank. Yes! Grand Slam! Adam yelled. He did a little dance, his loafers heel-toeheeling in the grass as he waved the racquet overhead. Still the champ! Again, the tall grasses rustled. A brown duck, smaller than the firs, peeked through the stalks. This one looked into the pond, straining its neck to see over the weeds, to focus on the final bubbles in the water. Then, as though sensing something terrible and dangerous, and equating the threat with the dancing Adam, the brown duck jumped from its weedy nest and flapped into the air. Adam didn t miss a beat of his dance. He leaned forward, gracefully raising his arm and serving with a smooth, powerful arc. The racquet sliced the air again. Hard. Fast. Fueled by the adrenaline of the previous triumph. His racquet caught the brown duck with full force, a cruel whuuump that hit it mid-air. For a moment the duck floa ed, hanging on fog, suspended in mist. Then, in a spin of feathers, it crashed to the ground. 5

14 Warner It lay pondside, jerking one webbed foot. Its head twisted strangely; the duck s eyes seemed focused on the weeds near its nest. The wide beak hung open. A low honking whimpered from the throat. The bloodied feathers rattled with hard rasps. Clutching the chain fence, Tiffany and Zack stared in wide-eyed silence. Beth, gasping at the first hit, had turned away when Adam swung at the second duck. She huddled in her jacket, sniffling and hiding her face. Kids! Dinner s ready, someone called from a distance. It was a feminine voice, Adam s mother or Beth s, maybe even Zack s. They all sounded the same. Tiffany fumbled to hide the cigarettes and lighter beneath her skirt, and Beth dragged their racquets back to the cabinet. Adam walked away from the pond, combing fingers through his hair and straightening his tie. I m starved, he said. The brown duck honked miserably, its webbed foot thrusting at air. Without comment or banter, three of the cousins primped, tucking in shirts, dusting link from their blazers. It was when they were ready to march off to dinner that they noticed Zack walking the wrong way, trudging down the grassy slope toward the pond. He stopped beside the duck that now twitched, choking. Zack knelt beside it, covering the dark trembles with the hem of his cape. As the hood fell from his spiked hair, Zack sucked breath loudly, shuddering in the mist. On the ground in front of him, the duck convulsed beneath the cape. Zack looked around him, raking his hands through the grass. He found a border brick, studied it for a moment--no longer than the measure of a heartbeat or a sigh--then brought it crashing down on the faint honking beneath his cape. Hard. Fast. Twice, three times. Until the honking stopped, and the twitching ceased 6

15 Warner Tiffany buried her face against Adam s wool jacket. Beth turned away. Now that is one sicko kid, Adam said, sighing. God, what a loser. Gallantly, he wrapped an arm around each of the ladies. Without a backward glance, he escorted them up the knoll for Thanksgiving dinner. 7

16 Kathleen Willard Theory Of Flight, Circa st Place 2012 Writer s Studio Literary Contest, Poetry for Bartolomeu de Gusmão There is something elegant about the early aviator s theories of flight airships fueled by alchemy of either, an element extracted from the atmosphere fixat ve of stars in heavens. Without ether, his flying ma hine remains earthbound unable to lift off And that is what we all want to take flight li e swallows, a dream so common it bores our therapists, but we hunger to outsmart gravity to feel our bones empty and hollow, to record for all time our first instant o levitation. And understand his madness and hope his hypothesis ether attracts humans and inanimate objects to the sun after amber gathered in glass globes awakens magnets to elevate his metal plated ship will actually pan out. But then, we look at his drawing from the only surviving manuscript. His airship seems improbable with bird shaped sails, contraptions of pulleys and bellows, its underbelly of giant feathers and garish flag, and still parts of his theory are credible as his first experiments flew unmanned through Lisbo But wait, he burned his entire opus seconds before fleeing soldiers from the Inquisitio for what mortal dares fly and trespass in he ven? All of us, we are all heretics imagining ourselves winged and free. 8

17 Colleen E. Gaul Right View 1st place 2012 Fiction Studio Literary Contest,Non-Fiction I sit at my desk and twirl the conical straw hat I brought back from Vietnam, admiring the idea, as well as the look of it. A hollow cone placed over a sphere with constant distance from fi ed points to fi ed lines. Simple, useful, beautiful. Holding the hat up to the window, I see the painted bridge, a written poem nestled between the palm layers. These hats inspire, as well as shelter us from sun and rain. The old woman in Hue who sold it to me warned if you lay a conical hat down with the point up, your luck will spill out. I never did, even during the long flight home when it was not easy to make room in the crowded overhead compartment. Cancer is a frightening thing. any hint of it changes us in ways we cannot know until it s over, one way or another. Frightened is what I felt in October when I received the Come back for additional views call after a routine mammogram. The anniversary of my father s cancer death was only a week or so away, and something inside me wondered if it was now my turn in the barrel, as he had liked to say. I dreaded the worry, the anxious waiting; a career in nursing had taught me what lay down that lonely road, even if you The old woman in Hue who sold it to me warned if you lay a conical hat down with the point up, your luck will spill out. don t have cancer. The magnification views were followed by a stereotactic biopsy where a radiologist fires a spring loaded.14 gauge needle into your breast several times. It doesn t hurt, but it is grueling, gruesome, and performed without benefit of medication of any kind. The results showed atypical cells, and too many of them. Neither wolf nor dog. Mostly it said I needed another biopsy this time the real thing with anesthesia, a scalpel, tissue excision. It could be cancer, but it could wait. I wouldn t change my life was the Radiologist s response to my question about leaving on a long awaited trip to 9

18 Gaul Vietnam. Of course it had already changed my life, but there was no point in dwelling on that. Ultimately, I decided to go to Southeast Asia and deal with the surgery when I returned, and that made all the difference. Vietnam transformed me, though I didn t know it at the time. It cast me into a time and place I had not anticipated or imagined. The people sit in kindergarten chairs or squat on the streets of Hanoi, eating, drinking, talking. They are poor, but rich in community, family, and tradition. Motorbikes swirl around like hornets, and I soon learned the only way to cross the street was to abandon everything I had ever learned about such things. Do not look both ways before crossing. In fact, do not look at all or make any unpredictable movements. Step into the fl w and move forward. For while there is much danger in the speeding, beeping Honda Dreams, they will not hit you if you surrender to the reality your fate is not in your own hands. There is a natural beauty in the low country called Vietnam, a small piece of earth with a large population. This land does not give birth along with its inhabitants. Years of war, occupation, and war again have left a lasting wound that cannot be easily disguised. As is the case with attacks on the body, scars remain that speak of suffering, and the landscape is forever changed. Yet the history of the place, all that was lost there, is present and remains in the rice paddies, villages, cities, and cemeteries. The Vietnamese honor their dead. Every house has an altar for ancestor worship, and the altar is the most prominent place in the house. With a large photograph, candles and incense, it is a constant reminder of those who have gone before and are waiting. Mostly everyone in Vietnam receives two funerals one at the time of death and another in about three years when they dig up the bones to wash in rice wine and move to another, better location. By then the dead have met people they want to impress, and belong to another place. 10

19 Gaul Those left behind give them a party and say goodbye, but the altars and tombs remain. The Vietnamese people live with their dead, but they let them go. My own fears about dying were calmed by the rhythm of this going and coming and going again, and a breast biopsy was a world away. I was struck by how meaningless it would have seemed to the women I met who could not have imagined such a thing a sickness without symptoms that posed such danger. Their real lives offered quite enough in the way of hardship; no point in looking for what cannot be seen or felt. Still, there is No shame to give way to an elephant as our guide, Le Sy Quyen, told us more than once, and for good or bad I have always given way to the elephants in my life. That particular elephant was with me as I traveled in the labyrinth known as Halong Bay, the womb of the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea. It is a lovely, intriguing place, where junks, that aren t really junks, putter among the limestone islands and grottos, journeying to the center and out again. I did not know where passage from one place to another began or ended, nor could I realize the significance of what was or would be. The search for emerald beauty deepened to a search for meaning and intention in my own life. Floating fishing villages and battered sampans led the way. The reward of suffering is experience. There is a lot of hope in Vietnam, from their Uncle Ho to our new American President. We can be and do better. The land is farmed by hand with plows and water buffalo. Farmers stand knee deep in water and irrigate the rice paddies with antique wooden paddles, just as their fathers did, and their fathers,and their fathers before them. These are the same flooded fields that produced the famous water puppets now known all over the world and a delight beyond words to behold. The fact that dioxin, phosphorus, and Agent Orange remain in the soil 11

20 Gaul does not deter them. These are simply remnants of a war now over and forgiven. That suffering passed. The Vietnamese eat anything and everything the world offers, and don t seem to miss the wildlife all but gone forever, the cats and dogs who live with them and feed them. The word pet has no meaning to these hungry people, but canaries sing from windows, puppies and piglets chase the children. All have a place and a destiny with the power of possibility embedded in every life. You might be and do better. A monk in Dalat reminded me what we live fl ws to us, and I wondered about my own action or inaction and how I might do otherwise. That same day a prayer at Truc Lam Buddhist Pagoda might have saved my life. I don t know yet, but I wear the wooden mantra beads, burn the incense, and try to calm my busy, troubled mind. I can be and do better. Ho Chi Minh City, old Saigon, is a place like no other with its French flair and Asian air, inhabited by a people once lost between two worlds. When they forgot, a simple man in the north who lived in a stilted house remembered, planting trees from the south to remind him. The coffee shop where war correspondents and photojournalists met to gather their stories and their nerve is all but quiet now. The low murmur of conversation, soft clink of cups and glasses are reminders of those sad times. Cigarette smoke still clouds the air. I could not help but think of Indochine as I admired the Intercontinental Hotel or imagine the colorful flags and costumes of ancient Kings as I gazed at the barges drifting down the Saigon River. Sipping a martini on top of the Majestic Hotel, it all seemed so old, and new, forgotten and remembered in the thick humid air. In some ways, the Mekong River is a big muddy mess, and, in others, it is beautiful and mysterious. Where did and do these great rivers go, and where are they taking me. The Androscoggin, Amazon, or Colorado, I am carried into something 12

21 Gaul and somewhere, inevitable, unfamiliar, and beyond my control. Like the rivers before, the Mekong took me with her toward the Gulf of Thailand, past banks covered in garbage, houses raised on stilts, canals hidden by coconut palms, and fishing boats with eyes painted on them to frighten crocodiles that no longer exist. Everything is swallowed in the vast delta; there is no escaping the forward motion. Only the time of arrival varies due to speed, the lack of it, or obstacles encountered along the way. The end is inevitable, and nowhere on earth is this clearer than floating in a boat into the Mekong Delta. I returned to Colorado on the 16th day, flying into yesterday to get there. Rarely are we so clearly given a second chance. The biopsy was not as terrible as I imagined. I do not have cancer, at least not yet. I sometimes catch myself looking up at the piano hanging over my head, and then I say a Buddhist prayer, which is any prayer to me, and think of Mrs. Viet and her primitive rice paper oven. It is possible it will be ok. After all, I have my good luck with me, the same good luck I carried home in an upside down conical hat. I am still discovering the gifts of Vietnam. Like treasures we hide and forget, they appear when I am searching for other things, and need them most. Vietnam has a lot to teach. I have a lot to learn. In his book The Heart of Buddha s Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us, When we recognize and acknowledge our own suffering, the Buddha which means the Buddha in all of us will look at it, discover what has brought it about, and prescribe a course of action that can transform it into peace, joy and liberation. All any of us ever needs is the courage to go deeper. These days, I am choosing faith and grace over doubt and despair. I am focusing on the change within, and leaving the outside world as it is. That is comfort to me as I fasten the conical hat under my chin and remember the hard-bargaining shopkeeper in Hoian. I go along for that price. 13

22 Abigail Warren Monopoly You were winning, hands down, 10 years old and with Boardwalk, Park Place and hotels everywhere. Pleased, as you carefully tucked the pink 5s, yellow 10s, blue 50s under the edge of the board side. I was sinking fast sitting in jail Do not pass go Do not collect $200. You grew solemn upset with my poverty insisting I take the utilities. I said, It s OK, you re winning, it s just a game (refusing to accept that) handing me handfuls of $100s Your socialist heart boy heart taking care of me, even then. 14

23 J.R. Stewart The Cup The fire flared and startled him away from a place that he couldn t remember as soon as he realized he wasn t actually there. He stood up and discovered that his left foot was asleep. Staggering slightly, he tossed the last cold quarter-inch of his coffee and whiskey against the poor, drunken scrub pine that leaned like it was trying to escape the repeated dousing and the heat of the fir. In the shadows away from the fir, the air was smokeless and cold, washed by the wind and the river moving swiftly by. Moving to the fi e-gallon jug he d set up by the stove, he rinsed his cup and put it, upside down, over the top of one of the aluminum poles that held up the front of the tarp that he d rigged over the cooking area. He yawned hugely. He looked at the cup. He put it exactly there whenever he was out like this. It made a camp feel like home. Or how he imagined home to feel. He was brushing his teeth when he had to admit that he was drunk. Not roaring drunk, or bad hangover drunk, but drunk nonetheless. It became apparent when he spit the long stream of white foam out onto his boot. Chuckling, he mocked himself by staggering to the tent, removing all of his clothes, and flopping in a stage-clumsy way onto the big foam pad where his sleeping bag waited. He was snoring in minutes. He awoke with a start and wondered why. Maybe it was too quiet. Even the river seemed muted as it moved on down its chute, down to Bend, past Warm Springs and Maupin, over Sherar s Falls to wind past Grass Valley, through Macks Canyon, to forgotten Moody above where Celilo had disappeared, to marry the Columbia and help spin the turbines, and finally out across The Bar where ships and bones sleep in the deep, cold dark. He heard it begin somewhere down the canyon. Wind in the trees. He felt the air in the tent pause and gather itself before the rainfly began to chatter and buck. 15

24 Stewart He heard the rolling snap of the tarp over the cooking area. The ancient ponderosas around the tent creaked and groaned as their backs stretched and turned. The gust died briefly but finished with a very strong blow that buckled and snapped all of the fabric he d diligently erected. This flu ry was strong enough to give him a small thrill of fear. He wanted to drift back to sleep, but then he remembered the cup. Damn! He knew he had to get up. He d never forgive himself if the cup didn t survive this wind. It had survived other blows, but he had a feeling about this one. The cup had been a gift and had traveled in his camp box since that desert night when the sky was bigger and the shooting stars brighter than any other night he could call to memory. It had been their first trip together. She had presented him with coffee in the new cup before bed that first e ening. Jeez, lady, he d said. You trying to keep me awake? You can be awake if you want to be, she d shot back. I m more concerned with keeping you up. It was a joke they d shared until the sky streaked with light and the roadrunners improvised their peculiar morning song. They drifted somewhere close to sleep as the sun rose and stayed abed until it got too hot. They could have stayed longer had they been lying separately, but each was unwilling to sacrifice the long, smooth heat of the other. They reveled in their glorious soreness, breathing the same air and talking through gentle bruised lips. The cup was all he had left. She d gone her bittersweet way in Bishop at Christmas time that following winter. She was headed back to Kansas to see her mom and said that she d come find him in the spring. But they both knew. All he said was: I ll be in Oregon, I think. He didn t bother to get dressed. The wind chill caught his attention, but it 16

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