Desert Flowers

Published in Friends Bulletin, 1998 & reprinted in The Best of Friends, Vol I, Chuck Fager, ed., Kimo Press, 1998. ISBN# 0-945177-18-X.

Mercury Test Site, Las Vegas, l992

Rain has blasted the desert into bloom–[break]purple, yellow, red-white-and-blue.[break]Shooting stars fill every crevice.[break]Each step crushes stalks[break]waiting years for rain–[break]any rain.

Radioactive dust[break]from Test #973[break]triggers a metal[break]bzz-zzz-zzz.

No one stirs.

At the cattle gate the guards[break]drag us to the chain-link lockups,[break]yank our plastic handcuffs tighter,[break]refuse our long-stemmed red roses.

"Don’t want ‘em. If the bomb’s so bad,[break]how come there’s all them[break]desert flowers?"

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