Albuquerque, NM

By Cathy Linh Che

In the car, phantom shadows.

The moon was a sliver.
The sun blared orange over the canyon,
and I caught myself awkward and nervous.

In the woods, I constructed for us
a makeshift shelter––tent with broken poles,
hands that intertwined in restless sleep.

In Flagstaff, the huevos rancheros
smothered in pork and chile verde.
A circular bruise on each knee.

I’d never seen anything like this.
Stacked mesas with their red
and sandstone striations.

Dusk striped violet and blue,
diffusing into golden light.
Scratch deep red on your arm.

What if love meant marking a body?
The red insignia a testament
to blood beneath the skin.

The soundtrack to a road trip played
on an uncertain loop. A blaze of time zones.
The spinning of a ceiling fan.

A movie which played
in scenes that resembled
nothing of our lives.

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