The sky does not begin above the high desert
but everywhere, germinating from mobs of blonde
wild-eyed Indian ricegrass and cliques of stout
perfumed juniper, flinging open its great, endless
hide on the horizon like some winged, cobalt colossus
bowed in prayer over a ruddy ceramic wasteland
at the toes of anemic Sangre de Cristo Mountains
where the blood of Christ drains forever onto broken mesas
amid flushed basins spiked with desert marigold;

I wedded you 7,000 feet above sea level, in revolutions
of clouds, a hundred jet tails crashing onto our heads;
you said Jesus was applauding from his creosote throne
but I witnessed the old Kachina gods turning, their faces
strained with cataclysms instead of smiles, the wind taunting
in the heath, while the melot-stained clay cracked beneath
our zealous feet, that gaping blue leviathan reaching forever
between us, empty-handed

for rain.



Contributor’s Notes: Jessica Housand-Weaver is a nationally published creative writer in fiction and poetry as well as an MFA graduate student at The University of Arkansas at Monticello. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in Anthropology and was nominated for the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award. She is also co-editor of UAM’’s new magazine, Gravel: A Literary Journal. Her publication and award credits include or are upcoming in: Stone Soup MagazinePoetic Voices MagazineThe Dark Fiction SpotlightMused-The BellaOnline Literary ReviewMocha Memoirs PressMalpais ReviewPoetry PacificThe New Poet, and Crack the Spine, among others.