We wash our feet in dust & hear our long-
dead hounds bay underground. We’ve always lived
this way. Our hair frays like sagebrush. When
the sky purples with storm, our hearts beat
a little faster. Wind rings the bells. The river
is lost. Spring up O well. Slow and steady
splits the canyon. No more altar calls, please.
Every barn’s a wedding, every red-throated
bird a prophecy. Less thunder in the
mouth means we shouldn’t sing. Aspens quake
their silver fans, our mothers twist their wedding rings.
The pastor asks us to stand. The corona
swings. A chapel is a dry creek bed &
baptism means drowning secondhand.
IN MY DESERT by Natalie Homer

Photo used under CC.