Song of the Sandia Mountains

—after Chelsea B. Desautels / after C.D. Wright

in the desert city the cold wrapped around us like cellophane: cacti lay as broken ghosts on the pavement: my mother from back home reminded me to pray: in the desert city I drank beside my boyfriend without shame: stared at the photo of the life inside me: it would soon be gone: a dark as dry as my throat: in the desert city I walked through antique stores with a bloated stomach: dead vines clung to adobe walls: we fingered souvenirs we didn’t want: wings of vintage cars flew past us: in the desert city we were free from Gov. Abbott and called him a cuck: in the desert city the clinic was full of dark-eyed girls: nurses asked me if I was sure: handed me two oxys and a benzo: the doctors goggles were perfect mirrors: metal shone in the hole excavated: I said thank you and smiled: vomited five times into a blue bag: in the desert city I listened to Lana Del Rey: American whore” felt somehow relevant: in the desert city we chatted at an Elvis-themed diner until the Tom Collins turned strangers into static: swing danced with cherry in my teeth: in the desert city we took a taxi to the airport with our windows down: mountains stood naked in the sunset: burned scarlet-purple and ragged: barren barren barren: empty empty empty: I was happy again

Allison Lee is a second-year law student at the University of Houston. Her poetry and fiction appear in Unbroken and HCE Review. After she graduates, she plans on becoming a government or public interest attorney.