personal · poetry · Recent

Sandstorm in the Desert (revised)

My life began with irony.

My birth was ushered in by a sandstorm.

That’s the story my mother liked to tell.

A desert sandstorm raged as her muscles

contracted, painfully–and early.

The end of March, and I wasn’t due to appear

til the end of June.

Always impatient, impetuous.

In twenty-sixteen, in March, Death Valley is flooded with

golden-yellow blossoms. California poppies flourish

from the record rainfall in the same place that

thirty-two years ago, the sand stirred, swirled, blinded.

I’m a miracle, my mom always said.

Breech baby, trying to land feet first,

tangled up in the umbilical cord, it choked me.

That’s been the way of my life–struggling forward

and strangled.

My twin didn’t survive, so I could live…

that’s what my mother said.

Life for me in the midst of death.

Maybe this is why I hate the crucifixion story.

Sacrifice a life for another? Such a mistake.

Such a mistake that I stayed.

Such a mistake, that I forced my way forward.

My life began with irony.

My life began with a natural disaster,

and more disasters followed.

Faded scars up and down my arms

and art engraved in skin trace the pain

I try to release.

My life began with death.

My life is irony.

And this year? This year,

I don’t want there to be another.

Yet. Life blooms in that fucking desert.

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