KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Prose Poem: 321 words


by Kika Dorsey

I’ve known the parched sky of the Sonoran Desert, where rattlesnakes lie, where saguaro cacti rise to the sun, surrendering, where mesquite and creosote bush carpet the ground. I have searched for the jaguar and gila monster among jackrabbits and black scorpions. I have burned with the sun.

Even dust and fire nurture the survivors. Even I with my cottonmouth can find a drink. There are springs in this desert, and in the evenings it sometimes rains, and I lift my mouth to the sky. It was here that I started my journey, the giving birth, the life of care.

Now I sometimes wonder how many bridges I have to burn to be alone. My body is wrapped in children, in pets, in mortgages and borders where the Mexicans roam thirsty, cacti needles in their feet. My country tells me to care for my home, and I pay its taxes for a war in another desert that is rocky and flat and mostly sand. Underneath is the oil that my car drinks. Underneath me are the roots that creep and hold, and sometimes they are so strong that I can’t move, and I have to wait for the wind.

The desert is yellow and green. I am the color of its darkening sky. I trudged across it with a handful of dogs and eggs in me that dropped like rain. One became my son that year, and I wrapped myself around the man and he pressed me into the mountains he climbed. Now I am taking care, and the bridges stand no matter how high the river rises, and the desert is a dream of the farmer who has to spend his days threshing the wheat and counting the rain. The desert is the wind through the cracked windows of my mind. The desert spreads like oil, and none of it is mine, though it lives inside me like thirst.


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