Oct 2018 Poetry

I couldn't sleep, so I wrote this poem for the place where I grew up.

Phoenix, Arizona

Saguaro cactus sentinels salute the horizon
Mesquite seeds pulverize beneath rubber soles
From dust we were created, to dust we return
Dust devils tempt these tortuous souls, like mine
I’ve been rebirthed from ash a hundred times, yet
My first morning breath still tastes of desert

Clay soil cowers, cracks beneath the sun’s scorn
Summer monsoons churn the sky until simmering
Lightning leaps like a dagger-toothed coyote, famished
For the ripest earth-breast in which to sink its teeth
Sharp as arrowheads washed up along the creek
My heartbeat throbs with the same electric voracity

Is it any wonder we sometimes feel immortal?
When all around us is sandstorms and crumbling
Sand-slide, rock-slide, mountain-slide, down
When all that’s left is a desert mirage
We supplicate with parched pleadings
Exhale paltry confessions from scorched lips

The frenzied hum of cicadas in summer says
This ringing in our ears is more than mere illusion
Like molting insects, we will soon shed our skins
We ask ourselves, are we more than mere illusion?
With the audacity to imagine we are more than ash
We make ourselves mythical, immortals, Phoenixes

Maybe this is why we learn to love the desert

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