We keep the headlights on. We talk about border
cities, about Mexican poetry, about oases
that sum up all the misery of the desert, about the color
of our faces almost vanished under a layer of dust.
Watching the horizon, breathing in the distance,
I light a cigarette and moved it as though
I were tracing a castle amid the night noises
(tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes, toads,
all imminent to painlessly dissolve us
in the morning) that’s struggling not to shrink,
that in fact begins to grow until it touches
the sun and then disappears. You rock
like a phantom battleship, talking about how the trips
have been very long (though the cactus cemetery
was the closest thing to a labyrinth, we couldn’t
find the gravedigger (probably on vacation)
who could have told us to be brave,
for fuck’s sake, and don’t go imagining things,
and we couldn’t bare that everything was
getting swept away even though
it’s a windowless desert) but happy.

-C.S. Henderson

We keep the headlights on. We talk about border
cities, about Mexican poetry, about oases
that sum up all the misery of the desert, about the color
of our faces almost vanished under a layer of dust.
Watching the horizon, breathing in the distance,
I light a cigarette and moved it as though
I were tracing a castle amid the night noises
(tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes, toads,
all imminent to painlessly dissolve us
in the morning) that’s struggling not to shrink,
that in fact begins to grow until it touches
the sun and then disappears. You rock
like a phantom battleship, talking about how the trips
have been very long (though the cactus cemetery
was the closest thing to a labyrinth, we couldn’t
find the gravedigger (probably on vacation)
who could have told us to be brave,
for fuck’s sake, and don’t go imagining things,
and we couldn’t bare that everything was
getting swept away even though
it’s a windowless desert) but happy.

-C.S. Henderson

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