In the dim


near dawn

I build a cairn of

small flat stones,

the kind we used to

skim across the lake,

watching the ripples

pulse against the shore.


There is no water here,

only the parched glyphs

of ancient inland seas

engraved on buttes and mesas

named after hats and bells,

their red and ochre bands

enflamed by

the first light

like love

surprising your heart

at seventeen.


(originally published in Mojave River Review)




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