© 2019 Helen: a literary magazine

Badlands

by Maria Cecilia Azar

I could think of a million sanguine poems
tonight:
Say, for example, “an arid gust
blinks the distant stars blue
and the moon periwinkles the yucca
in the distance”
But my lips are chapped tonight-
dry cracks hiding fists and lies
from when I tumble-weeded into your saguaro arms-
Once bleeding from the corner of my mouth
from arid caress that bloomed from a fist of spines-
you slowly infected my veins with violence and doubt.
It stings and it’s your prickly fault.