Awakened at four twelve AM it’s all you’ve got
in the silent New England house:
the memory of being the driver
of the sole car
speeding west on a night highway,
speeding west from Albuquerque.
Tonight this memory
of the drive toward Acoma
is giving back a soul
you’d thought you’d lost years ago
to your boss insisting
that she knew better than you
how to pronounce the name of a place
she’d been to exactly
once on vacation. “Are you sure
it’s not a long O? It’s
Ah-CO-mah, I’m certain. Are you sure?”
“Maybe I’m wrong,” you said then.
But you weren’t.
Pronounce it in your head:
“AH-cuh-muh. AH-cuh-muh.” Acoma.
You were sure. Sure then, sure now.
Certain of the Sky City
still being there, ahead,
out there west of you off this shining road,
under this saving path
of stars, you say its name to yourself.
It wasn’t her speaking that took your soul.
It was your silence. “Acoma, I’m sorry,”
you say out loud
in the New England house.
Nothing feels like home tonight
except that name.