Weight, and then Some
In between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the land flops itself over the ground, spreading like a blanket in all directions until it bundles at the foot of the mountains, those hazy, watery images in the background. But nobody will let the land be. With a shrug, the highway cuts through the sun-beaten dirt in a zigzaggy ribbon of smog, metal, and dusty asphalt. Fruit and almond trees claw down into the soil, and leafing plants insist on rooting themselves down, all in perfectly straight, parallel lines. The burdens heaped on the land’s shoulders are that heavily placed, and one thing out of place sends it toppling down.
Gazing out the window as the rental car drives on, I can’t help but want to fill up the emptiness of the land, the parts in between the crops and mountains and lines. I could drown the plants in water, uproot some of the vegetables, toss some raw chicken in, and let the sun do its work as it boils the bowl of mountains; chicken soup in colossal proportions.
But, I decide as I eye the upcoming road kill, these contours were made for less tangible things. I could pour out the rocks in my head, spit them out and toss them out the window into that patch of garlic crop. Or maybe, I could crack open my skull and let out the rats and snakes infiltrating my head. The land already has its burdens; it can take a few more of mine.
Instead, I close my eyes, and the land hums to itself. It takes its burdens well.