In red trunks you're half dressed, smiling into
the sand, and you're not sick yet. We've climbed
the glistening dunes together, risen from the heart
of the Tularosa Basin on waves of white gypsum,
have buried ourselves in the smooth dust of Spanish
explorers leaving treasures in an open sea of sand.
There are whole histories lost in the waves beneath
us, the paths of ancient hunters, descendants of men
who crossed worlds on bare feet. Our feet dig into
the ocean and find children's toys, lost keys, the bones
of desert lizards. This is before the years we never
talk about. Mute, we will learn to track each blood cell
as it changes, chart red versus white, count each number
in your viral load. Here you're smiling, laughing, broad
mouth open to straight white teeth, and your skin, hot
in the high noon sun, is just beginning to turn red.
About the author:
Betty Stanton is a writer who lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is currently a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Texas at El Paso. Her work has appeared in various journals including Siren, Silver Birch Press, and Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry and is forthcoming in several other publications.