Desert Vignette

A herd of Black Angus cattle scattered across a white,
sunbleached, crusted desert off of I-40 in New Mexico.
Tiny, black dots among an arid, fallow field
that look like cracked black pepper on a slice of old, dry toast.

And there by the side of the road is a dented highway guard rail
all crumbled in the median around a smashed cement divider
lying wasted among cookie crumbs of concrete
and wrecked rebar that fans out of the wreckage like wirey fingers
or twisted pipe cleaners
or bent hangers wrestling in the trash.

And finally, a roadside cross
decorated with dusty, silk roses
and a loose, plastic grocery sack
that whips violently in the desert wind
yet manages to hang on
by a single loop of plastic that