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SW Apr 2019
Dusk sets on the quiet desert
Eerie shadows hide behind saguaro soldiers
And sanguine striped snakes
Sneak back into the earth
Rowdy coyotes meet among the rocks
To cry at the moon
Who never cries back

The wind roams so freely through the desert
Stopping where she likes
To dance with the wildflowers
Or tickle the sun soaking geckos
She laughs as she passes by
And the sands chase after her
Begging to ever be so light as to
Keep company with the clouds

The mountain wraps his unfaltering arms
Snugly around the valley
A regal jacket of deep greens and browns
Laid across his towering shoulders
He lets his gaze follow the hustle and bustle
Of life in the desert as suns set and rise
From the place he has always been
Greeting each javelina and jack rabbit
As they settle into his solid embrace

The wind moves manically
Passing through the creosote bushes
With just enough time for a polite greeting
Before she rushed off to tease the birds
She touches every piece of her beloved desert
But she can never settle or linger too long
For fear of losing herself all together

The mountain feels his weight
Pressing so firmly against the earth
He faces anyone who challenges him
And he only rumbles with laughter
When they strike
But he begins to wonder what lies beyond
Where the liquidy sun shimmers in the air
He cannot abandon his post
For fear of crumbling into pieces of himself

The mountain cradles the wind
Slowing her down long enough
To warmly welcome her home
The wind tells the mountain
Stories of the desert
SW Apr 2018
I am the queen
of a beige colored box
with a pretty paper lantern
and discarded ***** socks

My lover is
a magic man
with a tender, fragile heart
we bring together seamlessly
lives from worlds apart

I come from
a pass-through town
a state for changing pace
a place with concrete skillets
and a rugged kind of grace

My kingdom is a sorry sight
my lover makes me bawl
my hometown holds my heartbreak
But no one has it all

I thought about my life today
and all it’s little pieces
I gather up my favorite ones
and all my worry ceases
SW Feb 2018
Sometimes I think I can feel pieces of my heart disappearing one by one,
starting from the center and working outward,
like dropping a match in the middle of an old piece of paper

It hurts
and I try to check the expiration date on my label,
but nature isn’t that kind

I think I get this feeling because of you
or, to be more accurate, because of the lack of you

The first time I felt my heart disappearing,
I found the expiration date on your label
on the top shelf of my mothers closet
it was all she had left of you

and it was all I had of you

there is no truth
when it comes to things that didn’t happen,
but of course I’ll always believe
that I took your spot like musical chairs,
there was never any room for the both of us
SW Apr 2017
Some days the trees outside my bedroom window glow a youthful green
And spread pale yellow petals across the dry earth.

Some days the trees are dull and gray.

When a thin red string pulls our bodies close
And our breathing keeps a beat,
I know that I am me
And I know that I am here.

But most of the time it feels as though my story was written in third person.

Just before the sun rises, I want to beat him to it.
I want to clamber over the mountain top and illuminate my beautiful Sonoran,
Stroke the backs of lizards who await my warmth
And kiss the skin of sleepy girls.

Instead my bones crack under the weight of my thoughts, layering on like humiliating harmonies.

Sometimes the trees are gray for weeks.
I wonder if they’ve died,
And I wonder if it hurt.
Every morning I separate the curtains to check if they are yellow again.
I check every morning and I wait for the yellow days to come
Because I think there is also someone who checks on me.
  Apr 2017 SW
Joshua Haines
The trees outside my neighbor's house
cover shame like my neighbor's blouse.
And the yard, oh my god, so perfect;
so, so, so suburban you could
stay safe, forever or however long it feels.

Her porch encloses her dying husband,
breathing out of a tank, or with a tank,
as if living with assistance is anything new.
And I think, well, I know she was once
married to a semi-famous musician;
some guy responsible for some important
'new sound' during the fifties'.

As the sun begins to sit, on this Virginia
horizon, I swear I am as lost as my neighbor,
digging around in her yard, trying to fix up
the place before darkness falls. I guess we all
are trying to fix stuff up before darkness falls.

The birds are chirping or screaming -- you decide --
under the coal dust sky, searching for something
but, probably, wandering around and around,
hoping that something makes sense or
presents itself. I don't know how birds work,
but this is where I say something; something
that we can all relate to. Something that really
hits the nail on the head. But life, like poetry
or teenage boys, or bloodied noses, or nonsensical
stares from that girl in 8th grade you regret being afraid of,
is unstable, meandering, even pointless. Oh so, disarmingly
  Apr 2017 SW
Megan Grace
but what do you do when you're
a shell
a shell
a shell
of the being you used to be
i swear i thought i was the world
now i look at my hands and i
don't know them
don't know these freckles or those lines
i remember i used to tell my reflection
that she was strong and deserved
something good
but i don't know those eyes anymore
so how can i tell that to a stranger
tell them they're loved
how can i when she and i are all we have
and i don't love her
i'm not sure how much longer i can do this ****
  Mar 2016 SW
Samuel Preveda
god stood by me, he hid in my pocket like a piece of amethyst
when i ran he turned into the forest to envelop me
his spirits became soft grasses, scented woods and colorful flower

The elderly woman in her garden in the early morning before the sun rises too high. She never sprays chemicals to get rid of the snails, instead she works and plants for and around them. This garden is to celebrate life, not to take it away. The wooden fence bordering her property is low and unoffensive enough to allow through woodland creatures who are never shooed away for taking a walk or a bite through the herbage. Perhaps she is atoning for a life of death and destruction. Or perhaps she is a saint.

They enjoyed things like making forts out of sticks and blankets and cardboard boxes and dressing up and going to the opera.

Memories, fresh like a wound.

Sometimes something so small. Going to the post office. A slideshow of post offices in my life. The disinfected paper smell, the lines of people waiting to mail a package, the solid colors of the interior, gray, black, white. A scrubby short haired black carpet, well worn.

I turned into a set of wings made out of crayon or colored pencil markings. As if pushed and pulled by the wind I stunned through the air, waving in the sunlight, pencil dashes of red and blue and purple. Like an animation from Reading Rainbow.

Thrown and tossed about like a lightweight wale in the sea. An enormous behemoth of grey and blue leaping like a kitten among the waves. It should be terrifying and would be if its teeth were any larger or sharper and if there was not such a happy gleam in its huge eye.
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