Ochoa's Farm, Thermal, California
I put up the season's hot chilis, freshly drum-roasted
slimy green seaweed for a dehydrated white woman
marooned near the Salton Sea on this ancient shore.
I strip sweaty skin from smooth muscles, the stinging
passion of jellyfish singed into my hands, caress their
peppery brown stems, rinse the white seeds from their
wombs, tuck their hearts safely away, pack a dozen
ziplock bags with my contraband, another stash of
secret dreams. I look to the sky. Towering date palm
trees rise in one sigh, fruit yet bulging in brown bags.
Tonight, the chilis will freeze, and plump gray clouds
bigger than sperm whales will swim across the line
by Ruth Nolan
copyright (c) 2010 by Ruth Nolan