February 25, 2021


Paul Siegell

            HORSESHOE BEND LOOKOUT without Camera

                                                                           —for Hannah Feldberg, who forgot hers, too

     A small, wakeless white                                            fishing boat floats into the
seen from around the canyon’s                              corner. Upon the porch of gravity,
 39 oh wows fire shots of the bend                     and of each other above it. Before
our down-angled eyes: a humungous                U—actually, an upside-down Ω. The
primeval art of erosion. My inner Eddie          Murphy erupts, “I AM VERY HAPPY
TO BE                HERE! ” A faint echo          acknowledges that it                  is, too.
                           (No one ever knows if         they’ll make it back to
                          a design like this.) The           goodness gracious of
                      Glen Canyon from above          —The “Oh my G!d” of

                    a natural omega. (No way             can any a-their cameras
                   fit all this; they’ll have to                   break it into frames.) The
                lucky-charm-of-a-place-to-                carpe-diem—The only way
              to continue as river down-                       hill. Parallel to horizon, the
           grand “Color Red” arrives                            in the distant right, the North,
         then cuts a sharp left, East,                               toward the teen tour. A skydive
       below, the mystifier swings                                  around a massive sandstone es-
     carpment, U-turning back to                                 the West, zooming a one-eighty,
“whippin’ a shitter.” Finally, after                              a quick cut left, the silent current
 carries on around the lookout’s other                 corner and disappears to the South:
  Carpe escarpment! (When this summer ceases, will you be able to say you seized
         the summer?) An un-photographable image—Memory: The most intangible
            souvenir. And then the omega morphs, opens to an enormous cartoon-
                  like mouth, frozen in the desert—and that escarpment chillin’
                          over there: the dangler in the back of its throat: the
                                 uvula of the vista’s voice, forever freakin’.


                                                                                        —Page, AZ, July 9, 2003

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