The wind would be water and fire,
would be earth—sand and gravel,
mud churning, even magma—

as I held my hand out from
the car on drives back to Texas.
The whole time my child hand

bucked and braced—a human flag
that, like everything human, refused
to be itself—I thought the wind

familiar, and made more so by
exposure; enough time,
my hand would turn element.

If in the wind I felt everything
I knew the world to be made of,
then perhaps in the air between

Matamoros and Corpus Christi
the lines of my father’s face deepen
as the horizon deepens now

the more the sun sinks into it;
as the lines on this page deepen
as my hand braces into each word.