From Kyle Muntz's Voices:
Flashes of mirage in the belly of the desert; cool clears pools gleaming my sacred oasis. I slept in the cold at the side of the bay, head in hands. Gentle pillows of sand, bearing an aforementioned history, staggeringly unimportant, lofted me to dreams. The desert made markings on dry baked skin. I slept with sand in my hair, dust in my throat, echoes of brightness still burning. In the dream I had a vision of a sandstorm.
It came at me a whirlwind of heaviness, granulated flying. Underneath, in a sandy womb, I saw darkness and bones of dead animals, sapped by the infinite thirst of an overextending desert. Cactus spines joined them, old meat, giving weapons to the storm. Ahead, on either side, in the back, the wind picked up, turning abstract shape to flat patterns in the sand, a maternal lifting up of body. When I woke up, I took a drink of water, packed my bags, and discovered I was a prophet.
for the night
in a house
out of snow.
very cold, which meant paradoxically, despite the warmth,
I couldn't touch
the walls. Not
would they collapse, destructively,
but they were
my absolute coldness
here, impeding impassive
the wind away.
I believe in taking shelter, but I
have any other choice.
was evil, not as a matter of intent, but as
it leered, intimidating.
avalanches at me, and snow. I couldn't
get to the stream
because it was frozen, and I couldn't go down
I was frozen
A cloaked man, bearing sickness, wearing rags, came to my place in the center of the desert. Scalding wind dug blisters in his skin. Impurity spawned serpents in his blood. Rough cloth cloaking, too thick, fanned to an overarching length behind. Standing thirty feet away, as was custom, he addressed me.
“I can't help you,” I said. “Go away.”
There is no safety under the shadow of this red rock.
(come sit with me under
the shadow of this red rock)
“I'm so sick,” he said.
“At least pray for me,” he said.
“I won't pray.”
“But look at what I am!” as he removed the turban, tearing green stained bandages, his rotted skin. “I'm dying!” he ripped gauze bloody red sprouting sickness, calloused pussed infected. The skin might as well be falling. So mangled, it came off in strips.
Look at me, cried wounds, we beg...
“There's nothing I can do.”