asleep with our eyes open. The shadowed
sagebrush appeared in our headlights
like fleeting childhood memories.
The glowing road lifted past the headlights,
into our eyes as each rectangular white line
was a page turning in our minds.
Clouds curled over the mountains
as a young girl warned us of floods
on the Texas highway.
The little crosses with flowers on the side
of the road stopped popping up,
replaced by machines
methodically drawing the black blood
of the earth out.
Pockets of fog and rain introduced the dark.
A purple cloud flashed above an eternal flame.
Everywhere we looked was a new display
of paranormal light. The longer we drove
under the starless sky—as hundreds of miles
of not yet tumbling tumble weeds
turned into city lights—the more we forgot
about the mundane daylight, the monotonous
routines of everyone in the disappearing cities.
One day this will all return to desert,
and all the frantic ghosts vibrating in the oleander
turning branches into bones and leaves into flesh
might finally find peace.
Brent Ameneyro’s poetry has been published in The Fourth River, Hispanic Culture Review, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of the 2019 Sarah B. Marsh Rebelo Excellence in Poetry, 2020 San Miguel Poetry Week Fellowship, and 2021 SRS Research Award for Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice.
Header photo by zhengzaishuru, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Brent Ameneyro by Kent Ameneyro.