Track 79

by Benjamin Schmitt

Inside of the Saguaro Cactus,
there are a series of long wooden ribs
supporting the water weight.
In order to survive dryness,
the Saguaro must bring
some of the desert into themselves
to keep the bodybuilder arms
filled with prickly barbs
from toppling. My dad
has some barbs of his own
and our laughter makes us fade
from him into the exhibitionism
of the Arizona sky nestling its cheek
upon the red mountains.

There have been times
when we didn’t love each other,
but families grow stronger from collapsing.
We bring death into ourselves,
then we decay together.