Cactus Flowers

April 2, 2008, 9:25 am; posted by
Filed under Articles, Chloe, Featured, Poetry  | 2 Comments

Bweinh! celebrates National Poetry Month this April.

I miss the desert like I miss a drink of water after a day of fasting, like I miss my bed after a year of traveling.
That grit in my teeth when the wind blows too hard, and that crack of thunder that makes me steady the expensive vases teetering in their tenuous places.
The rain on a tin roof a few times a year, and then the transformation, the green invasion in my trusty red dirt.

And I am missing it to live in a deadened landscape where the rain doesn\’t smell like anything and there is no noise at night but the absence of sound when there\’s snow on the ground.
I miss the crickets.
I miss the coyotes.
I miss those sounds in the night that bury me in my covers, that give me shifty eyes, or no eyes at all because I don\’t want to know what would make a noise like that.
Anything but this silence like life doesn\’t come around here anymore.

I miss the breeze that lilts across my skin like a good poem on my tongue.
That wind, imbued with the heady desert air, the smell of cactus flowers in the last week of April
The only week they bloom.
I miss the shimmering air, broken with each rising degree
And I miss the degree most of all, the peak at midday that means siestas and sleeveless shirts and foreign novels with desert-sounding names.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez and
Yann Martel and Azadeh Moaveni, books I read out on the porch because inside is an oven
And at least out here there are breezes that play with my hair like old lovers and hummingbirds that quarrel like jealous sisters and squirrels that roll in the red dirt like young brothers.

I miss the red dirt
The dust on my shoes and the fringes of my skirt,
The smell of my skin after I\’ve been outside, earthy and brown and dirty like hard work
There is no white in my landscape but the sun bleached bones of elk and deer and the little blond morning glories who appear on the road just after sunrise.
There is no snow, and the sky is overwhelmingly blue.

On the first day of spring in Houghton, New York, it snowed, and all the daffodils froze
But in New Mexico, the cactus will soon bloom.


2 Comments to “Cactus Flowers”

  1. Erin on April 4th, 2008 6:54 am

    pretty much awesome, roomie. i really like the line about the sounds that bury you in your covers :)

  2. Chloe on April 4th, 2008 8:29 am

    Aw, gorsh, thanks!

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