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Image by Tyke Jones

Angelina Brooks

We Lie on Our Backs in the Desert



Just eloped, we try to read our future

in the stars, but the sky is too big

and those fiery orbs too far.


How will we move through a world

that is so easy to fall from? How will

we hold the soles of our shoes

to the ground without slipping off

the earth’s edge? We are so

magnificently new and small

amongst Joshua Trees and rocks


and mountain hallways of the planet.

And no one knows we are here. 



Over the Prairie

The sky expands towards infinity,

but I can see the glass of this marble.

Maybe it is enough to be neon

bee boxes and pumpkins, humming

as they bake in the sun.








He told me that you never find turtle corpses

because coyotes eat their turtle meat, snouts

and tongues cleaning out the hulls. Indeed,

the only turtles left in their shells are those

mashed, off guard, mid-road. I want instead

to imagine turtles burrowing into lake muck.  

Perhaps, turtles, like wizened grandpas, believe

in dignity. Their wrinkled necks and noses

never want to be seen uncouth, outside

of shells. My father is neither wise nor turtle—

more like the one in the middle of the road,

belly-side up, flipped by a lumber truck, spinning

towards rear wheels, spinning in desperate circles.

He doesn’t pull in his arms, all swollen elbows and nails.

from Angelina Brooks

"I usually write cross-legged on the living room floor before grading my UNC-Charlotte students’ creative writing. I have an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from McNeese State University, and sometimes what I write is good, like the poems that have been published or are forthcoming in journals including Litmosphere, Cold Mountain Review, and The Southern Indiana Review."

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