by Gary Glauber
New Mexico caressed me
under thin covers,
lured me with temperate clime
and spicy cuisine, with tales
of mystical angel visits and
prettily crafted wares.
Enchantment was the first kiss.
I embraced her carefully,
red sun on field of yellow,
aware of what some consider
sacred and fickle behavior,
back to suitors from another realm,
Spaniards seeking conquests,
additional notches on a long belt
that circled a smaller world.
I slip away, careful not to burn,
knowing I will ever crave
her native treasures,
her dark hair, high cheekbones,
and ritual sweetness,
the tantalizing spaces
on blanket of sky.
Not knowing myself then
I was doomed to travel,
a lover always lost.
PHOTOGRAPH: Echo Amphitheater, Carson National Forest, New Mexico. Photo by Zack Smith on Unsplash.
NOTE: The poem’s title, “Crescit Eundo,” is the motto of the State of New Mexico. Translated from Latin, it means “It grows as it goes.” Its source in the epic poem “De Rerum Natura” (“On the Nature of Things”) by first-century B.C. Latin poet Lucretius. Here, it refers to a thunderbolt increasing in strength as it moves across the sky, a symbol of dynamic progress. New Mexico adopted the motto in 1913, a year after it achieved statehood.
IMAGE: The Great Seal of the State of New Mexico. When adopted in 1912, the official act of the legislature read: The coat of arms of the state shall be the Mexican eagle grasping a serpent in its beak, the cactus in its talons, shielded by the American eagle with outspread wings, and grasping arrows in its talons; the date 1912 under the eagles and, on a scroll, the motto: “Crescit Eundo.”
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I first visited New Mexico in October of 1989, and have been enchanted by the state ever since — the art, the culture, the ghost stories, and more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gary Glauber is a widely published poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. He champions the underdog while negotiating life’s absurdities. He has four collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press), Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), Rocky Landscape with Vagrants (Cyberwit), and most recently, A Careful Contrition (Shanti Arts Publishing); and two chapbooks, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) and The Covalence of Equanimity (SurVision Books), a winner of the 2019 James Tate International Poetry Prize. A new collection will be forthcoming soon from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions.
PHOTOGRAPH: The author with two souvenirs from New Mexico.