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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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Peggy Turnbull

Chihuahua Desert

We drive to a pool ringed by sandpaper oaks, prickly pear, century plants. He wears a swimsuit bright as calendula flowers. I find a twisted purple barb impressed into his pale thigh, a bullet wound from student days when the police shot him at Tlatelolco. Later, he spreads a blue and white serape onto the bed of his Ford truck. Most nights we peer light years into the past, find faint glimmers behind layers of meteors and stars. Tonight mist rises from the spring. He asks if I see them, the dead wandering among the prickly pear. Bodies piled high on the ground, mothers wailing for dead children. Now you share my nightmare.

swirling vapors swarm
across stony land
ghosts’ footsteps