© 2019 Helen: a literary magazine

vegas poem number three

by Kari O'Connor

August was monsoon season

and my brother and I

morphed into mud monsters

'cause our street was never paved

and instead of throwing rocks

at road runners

we'd throw dirt clods

at each other

and I would try to catch clouds in my hands

in this valley

let the mountains hold us

let the rocks scrape our knees

like cuneiform

let the lightning be our battle cry

see we'd gather the starlight

reflected in midnight puddles

and bury it in the dust

when the sun came

and still

my best perfume will be rain

sunsets painted purple and orange

like blurred fireworks

paused in the pacific sky

and I used to dig holes

in my front yard

the summer sun retiring

and I'd let the minerals

chalk up my hands like a ghost

and the land that birthed me

is made of big bang theory

a gravity of love harsh enough

to make my heart

beat like quail wings

and my brother and I

still shake dust from our hair

still only feel safe

with mountains around

and we still only trust each other

as children our god

didn't have a name

something about the sunset

stole the words away from us

and if I could catch a patch

of raincloud in my hands

I'd carry it to the hearts

parched from being broken so much

and I'd quench the loneliness

and I'd teach them

how to light the right fire inside

so let the valley cradle us

let the sky tuck us in

let the stars dance with the moon

so we can choose

love

so let's choose love

let's remember the moment

when we looked at the sky

and knew

we didn't have to give god

a name

or a gender

let's just let the rain

drip from our hair

there

in clouds made of mercury

hurrying to give the world water

is the answer

the cure for our wounds

and words

we wished we could tell god

but that we need to tell ourselves

with trust

with rain in our hair

and mud between our toes

let's choose love

like our hearts

had never tasted water

and we finally found the source

in ourselves