Hot Lonely Land

Stark desert filled with sand,
Not hollow nor pregnant but flat,
You lie in the sun hotly and most alone.

Slurping cactus, starved by the sun and sand,
Gapes dead-eyed at the water it thinks it percieves.
Illusion shrouds more fully than the sand,
Which storms and blinds thin dying men
Until they fade, tanned, burned, and mummified,
Into the scenery.

Beyond the seashell-colored sand,
Tan and burned by the sun for lives on end,
Lies only the sea
Of sand upon the precipice
Of human vision, human limits, and human death.

Only illusion shrouds more fully than the sand,
Which storms and blinds thin, dying men...
Hold, Said I this before?
Tis only a bit of heat bit through my skull
To skew the thoughts I thought I knew.

Sand and dry sun-rays only laugh
And blind and tan and burn and blind.
See how that shimmering dropp fell-
Last of the pouch! -
Growing smaller and smaller by the second
Until only vaporless air was left to sooth my parched tongue.

With nothing in sight
But sand and sun and one dying cactus,
I shall die.

At least allow my bones to lie unburried,
'Cept by sandstorm and imagined men who 'cared, '
Here by thee, great gaping cactus.
Perhaps water from my dead body shall soak the ground,
Anointing thee and blessing thee with young cacti.

by Kathlene Ann

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