Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Desert Speech


There is a turtle inside
me crawling
towards you &
this sunlight is Monday
morning slow. Night-
mare scenario
#1: running
out of gas
in the middle.
scenario #2:
running out of
clothes with gas-
oline in my mouth.
Last night too much
drinking. Ironic? I imagine rain
like glitter while Frank
Ocean croons
the boy of
from the chapel
of himself. I am not
a chapel. I am more
like the bronze
rocks scattering un-
broken landscapes.
Their silence. The smell
of apocalypse is burnt
air & nothing
else. The sky’s song
always ends
with bruising.
I’ve listened to it
carefully. Remember,
I am California. On road-
trips I’ve wondered
about soil & about
natives with skin
like soil. I mean Me-
xico. I mean the ribs
and blood of sand.
I mean missing your own
language. These footmarks
may lead us where
we hope/dream. Does a pilgrimage
begin once
tragedy has settled?
Does dark matter mean
besides: invisible
to the entire electromagnetic spectrum?
Space travel is
the geometry of my fingers
against tree bark
holding you up.
That sounds like
something else, I don’t know
what. Isn’t this
justice? Walking across
sand dunes will shift you
in ways you must know
& nowhere
is lonely. Remember,
we are California.

Alan Chazaro is a public high school teacher pursuing his MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco. He is the current Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow and a graduate of June Jordan's Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley. His work has received an AWP Intro Journals Award and appears or is forthcoming in Huizache, The Cortland Review, Borderlands, Iron Horse Review, Juked, decomP, and others.