arizona sun (2022)

shadows of a desert bird, dance along 
the sunken valley floors
i’ll find you outside someday, just wait for me
beyond the twisted wires and dried lakes

with sand in between my toes and blisters 
on my calloused soles, a cotton bag brimmed with 
rocks and faded shells, a mouth filled with 
muted words
                    (softly melting on our tongues)

shadows of a desert bird, move beyond
          the border that we’ve conceived
someday i’ll meet you outside, just wait for me
paint pictures with the whispers of our wounds
telling of vanished dreams, 
          of burning shame, 
                    of stolen youth,
share the colours that redeem 
          all of these distorted memories 

shadows of a desert bird, glide across 
the transitory redwood stalls
in a silent flight, escaping into 
the vast and shapeless blue

i’ll meet you across the fence someday
          just wait for me
                    outside the force field of this mental cage

with stiffened limbs and darkened skin
with the weight of life 
pressed upon hollowed lungs
together we are the children
burned and beaten by
the arizona sun