Under the Texas Sun


Oil refineries rise like vacant cities,

throwing flames skyward–

smoking the excess like a cigar.

Pump jacks nod to a slow rhythm

on the grassy plains, cracked by drought,

sucking black gold out from under

the Texas sun.


Cattle gather near the water

where the chaparral clings to life,

tangled with the barbed wire fence

far from the single house–

an outpost of civilization

amid the vast, flat land

under the Texas sun.


The plows have abandoned the fields,

now fallow for the rainy season:

Neat rows cut in straight lines

as if with a razor, bleeding dust

into the wind and into our faces

as we run straight into

that Texas sun.


Green lawns are watered by the Gulf of Mexico,

and oil rigs rise up from its depths to stab the horizon

that we now run to greet the Texas sun.