You live two decades a desert
your seasons imperceptible.
Flamed clean, you are a moth’s memory
They give you a name, then
that means pure—
in these quicklime days,
even beloved bodies dissolve
fast as the crescent on the cottontail,
the silence it leaves.
When the rains come, you feel them only
as longing— aster smear
along the mountain ridge, soft beating
on the hardpan caked. The kind of rain
that falls until even the saguaros forget
what a century is. In time
you turn amphibious, two lives
will boast your ribbed belly
to a nearer moon. These shrinking lungs
can only signify a revolving back
into water, into heat— shallow seas
where matter only potentiates
all your possible selves.
Wading the rising salt
preludes impossible return
to a previous world.
To pull your body through these currents
you must learn not to need this air.
KB Kinkel teaches literature and creative writing at Worcester Academy and holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Their poetry and writing have appeared or are forthcoming in The Rumpus, Prelude, Eckleburg, and elsewhere.