Desert Water

You have been digested and
spit up by this city.
Between coming and going–
somehow I can now
smell New Mexico canyons
on your breath, tasting as fresh as the
first day I touched earth between fingers.

Desert wrapping
over your body.
Charcoal sandpaper that scratches
until once again smooth.
Intertwining through thighs and toes.
Fingers grow like flowers through
hardened cracks of mud and rocks.
Eyes lightened by hazel sun and green moons,
oceans have forgotten their way inside.
Your veins, now pumping ground,
leave familiar glances and far between

touch.

Vastness, like rain, has evaporated.

Somewhere in dry brown you are having
a love affair with Fitzgerald.
Pages turning and scribbling heat.
I see you there.

Open, bathing in sunlight
that makes you so brown you
drip honey from your elbows.
Your perfections constant and unreachable.
Inside–
these hills and sand and lack of water
are keeping you alive,
until the next time you’re caught
between.

–Published in Touchstones, Fall 2000

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