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East of Center

The desert climbs East

into the watermelon mountains,

Offering its cactus flowers to boulders

that crumble like croutons into the mouth of the old canyon.

The foothills are dirty plates scrubbed by night winds

to be reused day after day.


Below is a city that drinks from the water table.

That invisible wet tongue that sucks seeds and pushes

Juniper, Beargrass, and Apache Plume through its teeth

and into the brown world.

In Albuquerque, the desert’s dry lips are sealed

with concrete, Costcos, and buses that run on time.


The sun has cracked the sidewalks of East Central Avenue

and the people are split wide open.

They stand in parking lots refusing to blink.  

Shade is a blind spot.

The thing to do is

shout into every car that passes with an open window.

Shout as loud as you can.


Stand in the sun long enough and you can enter any world you want.
Posted 04/03/17
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