ken greenley | welcome to canyonlands

Welcome to Canyonlands

Speeding along Route 160
on the way to the Canyonlands
of SE Utah
Just a speck on the map
Where the corners of four US states meet
Red sand of desert floor
Dotted with light green sage
Stretches for miles in every direction
Huge weird rock formations
hunch and wriggle
Behind wavy heat-lines
Bizarre landscape
looking like another planet
Winding with the road
through narrow canyons
Weaving between steeples and spires of stone
Got lost
again
Stopped the car
got out
just to get my bearings straight
And right there—right next to the car
on the side of the road
was a full skeleton
of a calf
lying stretched out
bright white in the desert noonday sun
the hot sky looking looking real big

I looked up at the sun
then back down at the skeleton
Whoa
At first my kneecaps started to quiver
dry tongue licking roof
of nervous mouth
Then I remembered
the ten gallons of water
Plus two full canteens I had with me
and I just burst out laughing
at the funny skeleton
Left by the desert gods
as a bawdy badasss warning
Hey, don’t fuck around here pal
I AM THE DESERT
AND I CAN EAT YOU
OK, OK,
I held my hands up
and got back in the car
After taking one more look
at the the skeleton—funny skeleton
Haha hilarious skeleton
Graveside humor warning sign
that said
WELCOME to CANYONLANDS

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