Ode to the Desert
Mothers & Fathers entered you
to preserve your namesake, to desert
to abandon or bury themselves
in your sand whirlwinds & walls
& columns, to find the mirage
asleep beneath their skulls.
Each of your granules is a birth-mark
exposing the fear to meet
invisible portraits, a reminder,
an intense knowing that the inner
world remains deprived.
Oh, dustbowl, featureless
wasteland, you reflect an altered
time line, a mother
earth whose patience
would have given birth
to forests. Instead
her Aeolian breath gives birth
to you, your alien ravens,
a prismatic atmosphere
destined to conjure diamond
fantasies & airy banquets.
You were meant to be forgotten,
a cemetery for a creator-in-the-sky
to bury his mistakes.
Lone water hibernates within
the succulent’s drum,
or binds the nightjars to crescent
dune’s last dew-drops,
or is trapped in a thorny prison
waiting to nourish a camel.
Britny Cordera is the author of the collection Wingmakers (Pinyon Publishing, 2015), and is the youngest author to have a full length collection published in the history of the University of Nebraska. In 2016, her work was nominated for a pushcart prize, and her poetry is found or is forthcoming in Peacock Journal, Pantheon Magazine, Light: A Journal of Photography & Poetry, and other publications. Known locally as the Old Market Poet, she is often set up with her Corona 3 folding typewriter in Omaha’s Old Market district, sharing her work with others.