Postcards From Palm Springs
This poem won Third place in the 2018 2-Day Poem Contest
i. Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway
Everything is pink—the sand at sunset,
the walls, my tub and its rust, the flowers.
My bed is also pink, making it hard
to fall asleep in (even though
it is very commodious).
There’s enough bougainvillea to turn
your heart inside-out like a pocket.
The hummingbirds are industrious,
the retirees play tennis instead of dying.
I am the youngest widow here.
The desert is not for the feckless after all.
ii. Joshua Tree National Park
The trees are posing for you
in their matching coifs.
The cacti all have brush cuts.
I blanched the pith of a skinned saguaro
for dinner, a bland meal. I’m getting used to
dust in my food, the roric ring of my glass.
In order to garden here, failure and parched
hands must transpire. Coyotes are useful
for announcing the almanac’s moons.
I keep a small mallet in my purse
for scorpions, just in case. Don’t judge me.
iii. Murray Canyon Trail
A hiker fell into the canyon. From the summit,
the rescue helicopter looked like a giant dragonfly.
The dangling gurney was a cocoon. I did not feel well,
vertigo. When I came to, the sun was an orange life
jacket floating in an upside-down ocean and
I asked for your father’s ghost. For the first time,
I regret the Springs. Your aunt is here visiting,
she will stay until I’m better. Do not worry.
iv. Tramway Gas Station
The roofs of this pastel settlement
are so peculiar, like ramps to heaven.
A wild hamster found me today.
I held it close to feel its frisson,
the aerobics of its tiny organs.
I won’t be staying much longer.
I will miss the desert’s bleached hide
when I’m gone.
Published online July 07 2018.
This poem was a winner in CV2’s annual 2-Day Poem Contest. Every April, CV2 challenges players to create a new original poem that uses all 10 words of our choosing. It’s poetry under pressure for prizes, publication, and personal bests. Learn how to sign up for the next 2-Day Poem Contest.