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  You could have a big dipper   

The Kissing Cactus by Lisa Lerma Weber

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

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