Desert Gods


Said good-bye

to the high desert gods.

Came undone,

wandering the wilds

in search of old

coyote medicine.

Tempted by an autumn twilight

out into the cool darkness,

only to find truth

was the Devil

in a fire serpent.

Baking in high noon.

Skin turned white as ash

at the touch.

The smell of old rot,

and there was no life left

to pursue.

Came home

to sanitized correction.

Suburban civil engineering

staking out an endless expanse

of ill-designed tracts

for future convalescent homes.

The prettiest trap

set for the dumbest prey,

but at least

they get a bigger cage.

Even the songs

recalled from the desert

are sung by ghosts.

Feeble attempts at resurrection

that would never take today.

Fake nostalgia,

looking like bad Botox

and cheap hair plugs.

The fact is,

no one who died in the desert

would ever want

to live

in a world like this one.

Every soul sold,

and every memory defiled.

Even love

doesn’t hit like it used to.

As if every cheap fuck

is a touch from that old fire serpent

and the skin

starts to turn to ash

and the buzzing of flies.

There’s a sandstorm coming.

One that’s gonna wipe

all this clean.

There won’t even be

ghosts to sing anymore,

because even they

are gonna get swept away

this time.

All these cities,

these buildings,

these rows of houses

staked out on once fertile land;

they’ll all be gone, too.

Just dust.

Maybe some future race

will wander here,

chasing the visions

of some new tomorrow.

Maybe they will meet

with the touch

of the fire serpent,

and the cycle

will continue.



DJR – 2022

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