it seems so impossible & right at the same time. clouds don’t fly, they just are. flying somehow implies mechanical machinations or a bird or insect. it seems to be a translation of the japanese, 雲を飛んで, perhaps the title of a ukiyo-e print by hiroshige & yet when you’re up here, up among the clouds (or at least up in the blue, blue sky) & yet when, from this vantage (a redoubt), you see all the world before you (even the curvature of the earth) you see that you know nothing.
because when you turned your gaze earthward, the brown line of smog limned the lower atmosphere & you felt the heat of the sun, your nose hairs dry, your eyeballs dry, the skin on the back of your hands papery & wrinkled with the dry heat, your t-shirt stuck to your back with a thin sheen of sweat
if, like us, you are fortunate enough to look back in time (or at least northward), you can see the dirt rolling toward the coast (your destiny). it rises, like goose-necked street lamps, upward & outward, a layer of dust & debris from other people’s lives
it’s prehistoric. it’s a fossil. it’s too large to be photographed in its entirety. it’s ready to move at your slightest suggestion. it’s living. it’s dead. it’s stone. it’s organic. it’s two feet demurely placed side-by-side, shy in its enormity.
& although the clouds were flying (there were none, i was imagining them, laying on my back by the mexican heather), & the day was hot & dry, i still found my feet on the cool ground surrounded by rich, royal purple in contrast to, well, everything.
& that little kernel of thought (an idea) took shape (i had despaired of ever having another idea) & i encouraged joey to move a little faster & stop peeing on everything (truly) & we chuffed our way up the rest of the hill & turned at the top & dropped back down to home.