The trip to Santa Fe was short and relatively packed, what with events related to the family wedding I was there to attend, and trying to spend time with family members, some of whom I don't see very often. I didn't get much sightseeing in (but thanks to those of you who passed along recommendations, which I'm saving for next time) -- I did see enough to know I'd like to go back someday! It's a fascinating little town, not like anywhere else I've ever been; it's been a long time since I found myself in a landscape so completely new to me -- unexpected light, unfamiliar smells -- juniper, sage, salsa. The dry desert air sucked the moisture right out of me. Next time I'm taking chapstick.
The whole time I was there I had this nagging feeling that a poem was almost in me, like a sneeze that won't quite happen. There was one morning when I spent an hour or so sitting at a table in the sun in the courtyard of the hotel, scribbling nothing in my journal and reading some poems, and I almost caught the poem then, I think. But not quite. Sometimes I just need to hold really still for several hours, glancing now and then out of the corner of my eye to see any suspicious movement, before the poem shows itself.
Next time I go to Santa Fe, I'm hunting poems. I like to travel looking for poems the way some people travel looking for the perfect souvenir. I know there are poems in Santa Fe, in that brilliant desert light, in the wings of the humongous crows soaring everywhere (we have crows in Indiana too, but I swear the New Mexico ones are bigger). There's a vocabulary there which I didn't have the time, this trip, to figure out. But I'll be back.