Colleen Louise Barry


driving through West Texas the sky
unfucked me all over this
sort of thing
small dramas play out
tarantulas move slow
as if recently spun
hairs move
with rare breezes
across sand
my blood surges I think
it smells like piñon now
we are rolling
cigarettes at the table top
mesas get smoked by women
I have known projected
violently hugely from gods eye
you can really feel the truth
of that here: god only has one eye
rusted in the socket
the desert is proof
god is not a man
what’s a dick anyway
but something you stick inside me
what is the desert but a palate
for a broader wilderness
the horizon is the length of the world
and then it is longer
I measure everything
against it so our bodies I think
are straight
actually lean crooked
its enough to bathe in
the endlessness
to plow through it
with a swimmer’s dumb grace
the desert and I have
no surprises

we have empty space

my epiphany is an acceptance
I plan on loving more
one day
although hopefully longer
its just that’s how
it is usually said
I’m a woman like a desert
in the masculine noon
a black buzzard flies
overhead he is almost to god
blocking out the sun

Colleen Louise Barry's chapbook of poems and drawings is Sunburn / Freezer Burn (smoking glue gun 2014). She is an English Instructor at UMass Amherst and the Managing Editor of Slope Editions. Find more of her and links to her published work at

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