In the desert, it doesn’t take much
for us to begin to hate each other.
The 100 degrees, the lit magazine rejection, the
AC clunking along like a loose chain on a bicycle.
The tension rises. It falls. The red in my cheeks
bloom like the sharp tassels of a cactus.
I’ve never seen anything
as beautiful as this arch of rock hovering
on the skyline like the gate of hell.
When the sun sets in the evening, and the cool
settles in, we remember what we love
about one another.
Wild rabbits hop across our path at the trailhead
and the sun sets blue and purple slivers of ribbon
across the faces of red mesas. You stop
as we’re climbing the steep mountain bike path
and say, go ahead of me and you’ll see it.
A jackrabbit on the trail. I follow
your finger to the source of love
hopping before us, and I remember
the things we have lost—your brother
crosses my path—then my mother, soon the rest
of our family decaying rapidly
like our relationship after a hot day.
Gray haired rabbits navigate the rocks,
the fine hairs illuminated by the setting sun,
and they show us how easy it is
and they show us how to survive.