Kiss Me Dry in the Desert
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
I want to be whisked away to Arizona
and kissed in the depression of the Earth.
Surrounded by rocks that have heard the moans of creatures like me,
slow-stepping, and extraordinary.
Standing ankle-deep in oceans of sand
Under sun that refuses to give up
Sharing heat with someone that loves me,
that sees me as a beginning and the now,
their future and their lover from a past life
I want to love in Arizona.
I want my palms and shoulders and the back of my neck
bathed in sunlight and lips
To fall asleep in a city of cacti
and kept awake by all the life that romps in the night
I want to walk into the chilly desert draped under your arm,
blanketed by all of you and all of the stars
that seem more like ancestors,
winking and beaming down at us,
granting me the wish that has lived in my skeleton since my conception:
to be loved unconditionally
a freedom they’ve prayed over me endlessly.
I want the stars and the moon
and the lizards and the dirt
and the fingers and their touch
and the promise of forever,
I can be a masochist
when I’m angry.
when I’m afraid.
when I’m happy,
an extremist with my angst.
I often look into the mirror
And I hope
for reflections of grandeur
for a version of myself that will never exist
comparison is my vice
my lightning thief
my jealousy thunderous and violent
and loud enough to rattle the windows of my skull
but repressed enough to never be seen in my eyes
as I stare up at the sun
and make a silent wish up on that star
to melt the snowy scalps of the peaks,
to obliterate the earth.
to match my energy in an act of passion
because how can I ever compete
with these girls
who have only ever known
raised around mountains while I have only ever known
raised in the fist
of a small town
with no wonder
only empty playgrounds
and a wide, mocking sky
I am the antagonist.
The terrorist of my own body
who feels bile climb up her throat with hungry fingers
when I begin to feel like myself
when I begin to believe in the mythology of me
I beat myself back down into fallacy
and act as ventriloquist
To be the girl I think you want
to be an illusion you fall for
if only for a fleeting second.
because I am not rainbow
I am not mountain
I am not Colorado sunset
but a snow squall
a gaping chasm
the insatiable, colorless gloaming.
And I hope
for your ability to thrive
through a dark and stormy night
with your high beams on
and a love for the drive