ruin

this is the only home I’ve known for my grandmother
the red southwest tiles fill her adobe home
it hasn’t changed at all
the vases and plastic plants that have always
held the ceiling up
are still straining against the wood slats
the saguaros still feed the the birds
still drop fruit
still threaten to topple
but now the tiles are
cracking
thirty years and the house is
settling
I have to watch my step now
the cracks are
splintering
so many sharp edges to dance around
they aren’t trying to hurt me, they’re just
getting older
settling
would they have cracked if we all hadn’t
walked on them

what’s wrong with ruin
why can’t I witness it and think
yes
you are allowed to
collapse
why can’t I see her and think
yes
you are allowed to ruin
you have done enough
your columns
can crumble now
let the weight bring you down
let your roof hang heavy
you’ve done enough

there is so much beauty
in the collapse
the colors breaking through
the billowing dust
spiraling wildly into the dusk

I can only hope I die as a surprise
letting no one know
so no one feels they should decide if I need to be
held together
so no one feels they have let me down
if they choose to let me
collapse
disintegrate
and disperse

I hope it happens in the desert
in a canyon I know
and I hope the coyotes and ravens
know what to do with me
and how to take me home
to their little ones

I don’t want her taped up
rolled in bubble wrap
and deposited into a brand new
fully staffed
coin-operated home

so then why
won’t I let her
ruin

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