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.
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