“Little Desert Flower” by Michael Lee Johnson

Good evening! Here’s your regularly scheduled Thursday post: a teaser for next week’s launch! Just a reminder that we launch Issue 21 next week at Shelf Life–we’re looking forward to seeing you there at 7pm! Here’s a short poem by Michael Lee Johnson to get you in the mood for our upcoming readings!

Little Desert Flower 

Out of this poem

grows a little desert flower.

it is blue sorrow

it waits for your return.

You escape so you must from me

refuge, folded, wrapped in cool spring rain leaves-

avoiding July, August heat.

South wind hellfire burns memories within you,

branded I tattoo you, leave my mark,

in rose barren fields fueled with burned and desert stubble.

Yet I wait here, a loyal believer throat raw in thirst.

I wrest thunder gods gathering ritual-prayer rain.

It is lonely here grit, tears rub my eyes without relief.

Yet I catch myself loafing away in the wind waiting fate

to whisper those tiny messages

writer of this storm welded wings,

I go unnoticed but the burned eyes of red-tailed hawk

pinch of hope, sheltered by the doves.

I tip a toast to quench your thirst,

one shot of Tequila my little, purple, desert flower.