Poverty Flats, Arizona

population 45

Jordanne Holyoak

Below red rock cliffs, in that county
of wide-winged birds and wild honey,
Vivian and I sat with big ideas
circling our heads.
We sprawled on a tufted slope
just above a lazy windmill
and acres of watermelons.
We spoke of a life far from this jagged horizon,
days from familiar voices,
deep in a city of neon and summer.

As we talked, we climbed out as far
as we dared to the edge of our dreams,
and trusted our bodies to tell us how far,
how high to go. We could not undo
what linked us to puberty,
that new urgency rising,
the lure of the beekeeper's son
as he bounded nude to the windmill's deep tank
below our thicket. He dove and dove,
his legs the color of cream,
his belly white as quartz.
Talk stopped, the only sound
the rush of air in our throats
as we took in
all that he was.
Silently we urged him to stop
and hoped he would dive forever.

Pink neon was a color
we wore home on our cheeks, the color
of an evening which sent falcons curling toward us.
Against stubborn cliffs, we screamed
to be something more than fifteen,
stuck miles from a good time,
while we watched a windmill and falcons
tighten their circles.

Previous Next Contents Cover 2River

The 2River View, 1_1 (Fall 1996)