Under clouds of tumbling horses, in New Mexico on Aztec lines,
Tina would ride. Like the waves that drive the swash forever forwards
She had no direction but time.
Grits fortified, they set her up for life. Strong and tough since she was born,
She was the brewing of a storm, eyes like the flower before the corn,
Was Tina and the flame.
As Tina aged and her face changed men skirted or froze and burned in her gaze,
So the women chose to isolate, to hate the magnetic, feral drifter.
“There is a force around her!” warned the bearded lonely pastor.
“She is fire and disaster, the pull of every game,”
Gravity’s rainbow running lose on open planes.
Like the stars she drew their eyes, her mystery her fame,
her loneliness engrained. She spent more time in the wild
than in the town on Aztec lines, where jewelry was only worn at night.
Heat steals the space between precious metal and flesh; until it’s cooled,
So in the darkness she wore gold.
Tina knew the sinews of the Yucca tree, the nine dimensions of the cactus plant,
Why the orange and purple shrubs took shallow root and fought for dust,
Why widowed crickets only cry at night; something to do with life.
One day she chose to ride, left the town for seven nights,
No one noticed she had gone, as she slept out on the desert lawns
and lit wild fires in her name, so she would leave no trace –
save for the ash that fell like snow, the tundra of the blaze.
When Tina came back to the town in New Mexico on Aztec lines,
she set the streets on fire. First with drop top wings and assorted smiles,
then with petroleum and dynamite; those streets burned all night.
The Pastor blamed Glory’s sister and after that the men who’d kissed her,
The Sheriff blamed bad ammunition, too solid to shoot an apparition,
The men blamed emancipation, she was the omen of a wiley nation,
And the wives blamed Tina’s ways and shape, she was the shadow of her own ill fate.
But the inferno raged and burned all their brains, their blame. Sadly, there was no
other way to take their hate than to take their days, and start again in some new place.
Like the coming of the rain, like the wiping of a slate,
Like the pain that makes the saint, was Tina and the Flame.