Desert Companion

The coolest month

Since this is Poetry Month, we asked local poets to write about some of April’s other observances

Water dropEarth Day

A piece of sky falls
into your hand, then it falls
apart. We don’t ask why.

We can’t stop the rain, but we can forget it.
This is something
we know in the Mojave.
School children, wide eyed, hold
their breath when it drizzles.

Today, like most days, is dry,
and we look through the unabrupt windows.
You and I choose from many names:
Opuntia ficus-indica, nopal, prickly pear, for example.

Some are now cacti skeletons, like fossilized tumbleweeds,
which are static, at best, in their existence. I try to remember
that some connections are
imperfect, but they’ll have to do.

You ask for concrete examples. I give you birdless birdcages,
sand-filled snowglobes, and
empty arborescence. 

Heather Lang

The Hoax (April Fools’ Day)

Some days my mind needs a well-executed


An accelerated ambush sprung upon

my agonizing analysis

of all my attachments.

I would be left with only the salty sting of childhood in my mouth.

It’s possible this whole existence balances

on an enormous whoopee cushion,

set to erupt at any moment —

blow to bits whichever precious or intolerable thing

we are holding so tightly.

Absurdity is the loose garment,

the fake fly fake frozen in the fabricated ice cube.

The hoax, an unhinging from the humdrum; wise to be a fool.

So we take it, because

hope and grief,

two sides of the same trick coin.

Jennifer Battisti

Support comes from

Record Store Day

Mix tapeThere’s a lost art in saying I love you with a mixed tape.

So much can be said through the words of others.

The right order. 

The right feeling. 

Carefully written playlists.

Music from the heart.

For the heart aye aye aye.

A gentle touch of bass line.

A guitar solo, like scratches down the back.

Tonight, drums beat

at 11th Street,

flipping through discs, tapes, vinyls for that perfect emotion.

That perfect song. 

Sometimes love is found in the record store. 

Logan Riley

Paper craneTax Day

I haven’t suffered

enough through taxes to write

a poem about it.

Vogue M. Robinson

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