Rebecca Watkins

I wanted to believe I was heard

that night I stopped driving

and leaned against the hood of my car

on Route 491 South between

Durango and Tohatchi.

I conversed with the stars

as if those swirling gases

light years away could convince

me my heart was more than

a galloping horse caught against my sternum,

moving me from one life to the next.

I had escaped from the desert

for a month and hid at an ashram

in the Rockies, where it felt like it might snow in July.

There, a guru pressed her thumb into my

chest telling me to live from my center,

keep my intentions pure. Every day I chanted

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha,

until the words worked their way

into my tissues and I heard them in my sleep.

I knew down in Roswell they believed in aliens

more than deities, the military swallowed

secrets with their morning coffee,

in the labs in Los Alamos scientists

were blessing bombs like babies.

As I drove back, I knew nothing more

than when I came, the moisture of the mountains

clung to my skin beneath my clothes for one more day.

The desert sun roared against my forehead,

drying me out, pressing me to the earth as if trying

to break my body and reach inside.

Rebecca Watkins has an MFA in Poetry from the City College of New York and has taught poetry, writing, and English as a Second Language at the college level for six years in the Greater New York area. This year, she was awarded a poetry residency in Honduras for the month of January. She has been published in The Promethean, The Red Mesa Review, Poetry and Performance, and the SNReview among other literary journals. Besides teaching, Rebecca is a certified Hatha Yoga instructor, has lived and volunteered on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, and worked on two organic farms.

  fiction    poetry    "fact"    photography
masthead      guidelines