Andrea Moon

Educator, Performer, Director, Writer

 

LAURA IN THE SOUTHWEST

for Julia Leichman

She says she likes the colors: a carpet

of dried blood and sand unrolling

over three parched states.

 

She tells me it’s a holy place: the

vegetation contorted plants that supplicate

for years without the blessing of rain.

 

Her body is glare-white, though

not quite bone for there are shadows, 

born only from flesh-fed pain,

 

laying in wait underneath the

wide expanse of her eyes.

She tells me she’s been dreaming

 

of driving to New Mexico in a blue

van, with people she has come to love but

has yet to meet, and

 

stopping with them at some desolate

point in the middle of that

sepia aridity.

 

I know when I see

her again she will be thinner still,

nearly hollow. 

 

She is wasting away.

 

She tells me she’s just

planting the excess in the desert

in anticipation of floating home to me.

 

**winner of the 2005 Center for the American  West Thompson Award for Western Writers***