In the San Luis Valley,
the AM plays a ranchera
where a woman laments losing her lover.
Her ex listens to her pained song
and swallows his jealousy of beer.
My Spanish is not good, but I follow
the strum and horns
that count out her tragedy.
I turn off the radio before it ends
for my hike through the Great Sand Dunes.
When my shoes fill to discomfort,
I empty out the sand. The mountains surround
on all sides of my view. I want to disappear
behind the dunes and mountains,
the desire I had when I was a child
that watched sunsets dragged beyond
Cheyenne Mountain’s blinking radio and TV towers.
Back then, I thought faraway places
stayed blocked by a treacherous climb.
I felt the world bigger than where it ended
with nothing on the other side.
I listen to the AM again, driving home
and thinking of la ranchera.
In my head, she’s longing for someone
to find her as brilliant as the stars again,
in a future without a broken home.
I am captured in the same melody
with no where to direct it.