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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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J Hahn Doleman

Train at Night in the Desert

Nothing is less real than realism.
                     – Georgia O’Keeffe

We feel the speeding bullets before we hear the sound of their origin, and before the pain has an opportunity to register with our cortex, we become desert spirits of this and every millennia.

on the wing
of a mountain Apollo
drops of blood

We are treated like victims by some who mutter a prayer for us, but we do not accept that. We are ghosts, some of us hungry, some vengeful, all of us with a purpose we have left to fulfill.

Spanish bayonets
rising up from the land
ancient heroes

We float over the shifting sand on shimmering heat. Muted ribbons of color converge toward a vanishing point, anchoring our position, dropping a pin on the map of transferred circumstance.

broken rainbow
threatening gray skies
above El Paso

We no longer need tickets, riding instead on smokestack steam, billowing into the blinding white light of day, and the star-filled charcoal sky that never ends. We travel on without promises, leaving wishes behind.

bone white clouds
from beyond adobe walls
a blue door opens

Note: The haibun borrows its title from a 1916 painting by Georgia O’Keeffe.