Scrolling through social media posts,
I come across the photo of a cactus
shaped like kissing lovers,
and I think of all the ways our brain
deceives us into seeing things—
like looking upon something prickly
and seeing something to embrace.
I think of the trickery of the desert heat—
how our thirsty minds will see water
where the land is dry as forgotten bones.
And what is it about heat that makes us delirious,
oblivious to how close we are
to being scorched from the inside out.
I look at the cactus lovers embracing,
the way their spines puncture each other's bodies
and think of the ways love can pierce—
how often we have to pull the sharp pieces
from our swollen, tender hearts.
These thoughts briefly prick my mind
before I return to the desert of social media
and scroll on, leaving the cactus lovers
to their thirsty, infinite embrace.
Lisa Lerma Weber lives in San Diego, CA. Her words have recently appeared in Fudoki Magazine, The Molotov Cocktail, Six Sentences, and others, with work forthcoming in Abandon Journal. She loves spaghetti and constellations and songs that get stuck in her head. Follow her on Twitter @LisaLermaWeber