In Yesterday’s Pocket

I pulled out summer
Lapping and licking the surface
To wear through the veneer of today

Desert sage scented thoughts
Reminding me of the wild thing I was
Unstructured mind with winged words
Fingering the silver fruit
Picked from the greasewood lined washes
Gathering enough to launch into dry snow

Shifting through lint
The bits of jean and pearl
A shell from when I used to follow
A leashed moon into the ocean
To taste the dark, beaded breath hummed upon my lips
Engaging in the lucid world of salted sea foam
And silky weeds laced beneath my feet

I rode the California boardwalks at night
Wishing to disappear
Gripping my place in fisted comfort
Palming granite and chipped mica
Globes of fuzzy, dusted starlight
Knowing mountain linguistics
And playful sculpted shadows

I hadn’t learned to change my colors
I was creosote after rain, a thick humid hazel
Skinning my knees on angles
Painting my soul with hues clinging
To a weighted sky

I was not
Lemon colored
Sliced into high corners
Or beach built and sun drenched
Laughing in bursts of ray and sea spray
Island scented beauties lounging in sand
Bikinis on bikes, stopping boys on skateboards

I was
Desert scented, tomboy tough
Rough you up, the mouthy kind
All grit and saturated saguaro pulp
Preparing for drought, a thorny covering to protect
My distance
Lost without mountains

I remember the feeling
As if it belonged to someone else
Sifting though the lint of seasons
The stones of faraway places
The lost and found of love and people
The ripples of time it took to
Build a resistance
To lighthouses

Until I finger the collective yarn
In yesterday’s pocket
Little discoveries
Of who I used to be
And the compasses I still follow

-S. S. Hicks


Creosote bush, aka Greasewood

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