Escaping

 

Shortly after the decision
she no longer needed
her breasts or the cancer
straining to leave them
she found herself
desperate
to escape the first snow.

She went to Arizona
having never seen a cactus bloom
or the majestic monolith of
a mountain.

She ate burritos
dripped with salsa in
Tombstone
watching lean pliant cowboys
shot full of
kosher pinto bean bullets
lounging where grass
was brown paper ghosts.

Talking to her son
as he watched the front yard sink
Into snow
her voice smiled
waxing jubilant of building
succulent rock gardens
along the Colorado River
and explaining the happiness
in keeping her hair
and how it kept her head from
bursting into flame.

Still, there's a need for the sun, she said
and promised she would return
once her breasts had turned
into ghost towns.


Won Second Place in the 2015 League of Minnesota Poets Claire van Breeman Downes Memorial Grand Prize Award

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