It was dusk for kilometers and bats in the lavender sky,

like spiders when a fly is caught, began to appear.

And there, not the promised land, but barbwire and barbwire
with nothing growing under it. I tried to fly that dusk

after a bat said la sangre del saguaro nos seduce. Sometimes
I wake and my throat is dry, so I drive to botanical gardens

to search for red fruit clutched to saguaros, the ones at dusk
I threw rocks at for the sake of slashing hunger.

But I never find them here. These bats say speak English only.
Sometimes in my car, that viscous red syrup

clings to my throat, and it’s a tender seed toward my survival:
I also scraped needles first, then carved those tall torsos

for water, then spotlights drove me and thirty others dashing
into palos verdes, green-striped trucks surrounded us,

our empty bottles rattled and our breath spoke with rust.
When the trucks left, a cold cell swallowed us.
  • Source: Poetry (January 2016)

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