What we collect when we collect when we collect, we collect pieces to build ourselves anew. In the rocks we discover piles of bones left by owls, bones once belonging to mice to kangaroo rats to lizards. The sun has cleaned them. In bones we discover the shine of the body, the clear white of a self-grown mineral. Some things are simple: our bodies are hard but they give. The ribcage protects the heart from a roaming hand but a cough can crack it. We still press against and pull away from all kinds of surfaces. What does marrow taste like when it lives when it gives?
I’ll tell you. It tastes like the juniper berry, the ginned juice of the bush. Do you remember when your life flashed before you?
When your body pushed forward and was stopped?
When you felt the most alive.
When you woke up knowing all of your fear had left you.
When loneliness could not touch you. When even the hard heat of the desert, the empty space of the desert, the charred wood of the desert, like your heart was a desert, like your marrow was sand, like your bones were the skeleton of the cholla and the air blew through as they burned as they blued in the sun. Do you remember that taste—the pith?