147 Readings | 1 Rating

The Arroyos Are Swallowing Strangers

Mother is sucking on limes, and

Father consoles an old widow

On a war no one remembers anymore.

I eat a prune filled with blue cheese,

while boys run through the room,

Skidding on Oriental rugs.


The house is full and they are charged

With electricity; cartoon jolts break

Outside the picture window.

Yellow haired little girls tiptoe beneath us,

holding their crotches and pointing to the sky.


It’s one of those storms you think you want.

You hover too long in the yard, free

Of davenport, you fingerlink into a Cyclone

Fence from your youth, made in Decatur.

But soon old ladies push to the door, and

Children are called in, shoes flashing.

No one is laughing anymore.


I don’t know why we leave then,

In the darkest thick of rain.

We run, we run through small lakes

And our car sails through a river

Like a small ship, made for this.

Islands of dead sedans pass us by.

There is that strange feeling of regret.


When we make it home, we take

Tequila from porcelain white mugs.

The sky has quieted a little, right?

Only the wall behind the toilet

Has softened. Mother comes in:

Silver-haired, alive. Father is

A superhero.


In the morning, Sirens hatch.

Sandy ridges harass the

Surface of the world.

Like a lover in the night,

No one speaks of it again.


They say no body was found.

There is no water, either;

The arroyos have already baked dry.

Here is the desert: untouched, unyielding;

It’s low, but if you listen,  

The normal scream of sun.
Posted 08/01/16
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