Attempted intimidation and generosity are cousins. Look one in the breathing face, behind language, and see hair growing on the tongue. As if dead, and the nails still growing. As if Nosferatu. As if falling off the roof and rising from the red dust to slink in the cracks of an adobe wall where spiders plump as wild persimmons fall from the branches.
The clay earth beneath feet cracking but so soft—it gives just so when walking after yesterday’s dried up rain. And all the pieces of glass uncovered, halved marbles, even when you dig to plant carrizo extracted from the canal banks. Keep expecting small bones to surface, but only smashed caguama bottles.
And generosity is the out of state cousin who feels like home years after your one chance meeting. A frog the size of a desert grape emerging from the rain puddles. (S)he has always been here. And here and here and here. And in the patches of desert that exist along freeways in the urban city. A bunch of white jimsonweed like calla lilies. An owl too thin guarding home from runaway dogs--the burrow lined with dung to distract them from the scent of chicks. A neighbor’s dogs broke through another neighbor’s chicken coops and killed three gallinas last night. And it is all genuine and generous, the way neighbors speak kindly to each other and offer to help mend the fences.