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Jan 2015
there was fog
outside the window
yesterday that i meant
to photograph. here
in my parents' house, big
and empty and warm,
my mom tells my brothers
to swallow vitamin D
but she doesn't have to tell me.
most days, where i live now
the sun shines. most days
there is no fog, no forests,
no rain. i miss
the wilderness of this city:
the way the weeds
force their way through
the asphalt, the way everything
in spring is a cavalcade of green,
the way the clouds turn
the whole sky white
or shine gold, the way the hidden
mountains show themselves,
shining silver crowns
on the horizons, gifts
of a sunny day. where
i live now the mountains are
huge and stunning
and obvious: like big
dumb desert teeth, cacti bloom
and the trees they claim are tall
are ancient, there is
no height reached that is
not surmounted in my home,
there is no fear that is overcome.
here everyone is lying, i can
see it in their eyes, the sun
makes them feel safe
and invincible and detached.
where i am from the rain
wears you down, beats all
the summer strength out of you.
you must find something
to cling to, something real
to hold on to with all your might
when winter comes because
otherwise down falls the rain
and washes you away. in the desert
there is nothing to cling to.
there is dust. there are palms
that sway in a sun they weren't
born under, there are cities built
over deserts, but the deserts
are still there. where i am from
we know that this land was forest
and river and field: the rain washes
our illusions of civility down
the drain. in desert the dust that
sneaks in is a slower kind of
reclaiming: it will collect, it will
fill our lungs, but it does not
shout like the rain.
Ellie Stelter
Written by
Ellie Stelter
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