A damp stench of wildflowers. The
memory of vacant highways fixed in

her bones, a recurring memory oozing
tragic lines, cracking the marrow with

guttural airs not meant for human ears,
lies driven too deep, too hard, too often,

cries that had been eclipsed by moons
cut in half, waxing glow that sucked her

in and smoldered behind her eyes, sulfur
on the tip of a stick, tarnishing everything.

She reeked, sweltering in stink that covered
her clothes with the dark scrapes of Apricot

Mallow and Jimmyweed.  Once, they had
backed her, but now had betrayed her,

fractured her, spread her hips wide
open for the stars, on her back by

the side of the arroyo, pressing into
the sand and Brittlebrush, a map of

welts and pricks on her ass, her mouth
stuffed with Wild Carrot and Creosote,

the musty odor of the desert after a
hasty rainfall, hard to hold, yet held,

knocking her senseless with persistent odor
and the distance home that obsessed her.

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GEORGE KOROLOG is a Bay Area poet whose work has been widely published in journals such as Word Riot, Forge, The Monarch Review, Naugatuck River Review, Blue Fifth Review, Poets and Artists Magazine, The Journal of Modern Poetry, Connotation Press, The Chaffey Review, Thin Air Magazine, Grey Sparrow Journal and many others. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has two Best of the Net nominations. His first book of poetry, Collapsing Outside the Box, was published by Aldrich Press in November 2012 and is available on Amazon. His second book of poems, Raw String was published in October 2013 by Finishing Line Press, also available on Amazon.

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