O Texas! Part 1

O Texas! Your expanses sit upon the mind like a troubling god, driving acolytes into clustered suburbs and air-conditioned strip malls named for geographic features born in imagination and fake Roman columns. Fields of flowers and prefabricated houses, interstates twisting like wisteria through urban orchards, construction debris and parking lot streetlights.

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Photo by J. Max Hunt

Onward through more or less substantive towns, one-road speed traps with frontier architecture squatting between grain silos and lonely oil derricks. Roadsides decorated in Indian paintbrush and bluebells, free-range sunflowers and tickseed. A cold front hangs ragged at the edges with summer’s suffocating blanket. Colder than Louisiana; colder than New England, Texas the master magician; the Southern belle, the landed gentry — Indiscriminate in your allowances — cows sharing pastures with industry, native tongues twisting around the American flag in uneasy union. Multis nulla; hablando en idiomas más allá de la lengua.

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Photo by J. Max Hunt

A single star winks out in your acres of intemperate darkness: what light shines through your dense scrubwood oases? The sky struggles to stretch across your fence posts hemming in nothing, keeping out nothing.

Somewhere in the distance another steel-coated Asgard lurches forward through the steam….

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