Clouds flatten against a gray sky
and cover what had once been the color
of bluebonnets only a moment ago.
Suddenly rain begins washing the windshield
as we turn and head for Houston.
Earlier, in San Antonio
the sun squatted down to squeeze
the breath from my chest,
like smoking my first Luck Strike at 10.
We had hidden from it in the quiet cool
of the mission and ran our hands over
rough rock, cracked like old bones
or parched earth.
its Spanish tiles were the color of canyons
and hills that round and mound
against a western sky.
I could almost hear the soft rustle of burlap,
the padre entering for evening prayer.
His muffled words must have comforted,
a murmur out of the old stone wall
where a pebble had dropped from my fingers
and landed far below in dark water,
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