Poem: July/August 2017

 

July 10, 2017

Issue 25: July/August 2017Poetry

Sonoran Baptism

By Erec Toso

Dear Friends in Other Places

We are still crispy dry
ripe to explode
in flame
at the first dry lightning
or careless butt

Even the Gila River
normally raftable
north of us
is just pools
and river rock

But we keep going
pretending water will last forever

We found a creek last weekend
just off the shore of a sky island
a forgotten defile
home of trogon
source of time
and temporality
and we slept on its spring-fed banks

Morning
found us freezing
naked
in its last deep pool
beneath a mossy
waterfall

I want to play hot blues
and sing songs
of redemption
blood reunion
in a dancing mass
for that creosote-soaked
waft just now
soft as a cat’s paw
poking at my cheek

They will come
it said
those belly dumpers
of hail and sweet rain
those barbed and twisted
skewers of light
ionized violence

After staying up all night
watching shooting stars
and listening to fiddle music
I woke to a promise
of cloud
a bass note
a distant concussion
the rushing and imminent
baptism
teasing
not yet

Erec Toso watches clouds when he is not teaching at the University of Arizona. His writing grows out of flinty soil and bouts of longing. His mentor, Simone the cat, admits that his progress is slow, but that he may write something good and true if he learns to pay better attention to the little things. 

Header image by Michael-McNulty.







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