August 23, 2011

Excerpt of Desert Poem

I was in a new kind of desert
where the Santa Anas lick down
your shoulders halfway through a latte,

but the Mojave’s not duped
by orange blossoms, avocado trees,
clutches of Bermuda grass

when all irrigation gives rise
to twenty million fine, identical blades.

A city-desert is a nightmare world,
a Sahara sprawled in every direction
with stucco, brick, Spanish tile, sheet metal, glass,

teak and tile playhouses in the hills
where ficus and doum palms
     disguise the dunes,

where desert cars are hallucinations
across flats of broiled land

where women wear gauzy numbers to stress
their melon breasts and men hide
their bald heads in Dodgers caps.

--Alexis Orgera

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