Hard Prosetry by Yari Jacobson

They make fun of me, my peers, these convicts, for watching old
Westerns, my Cash tattoo, the picture of me from the streets in a
bolo tie. I’ll never bother trying to explain my secret, the
unspoken exchange between the creosote bush and newborn rain,
the smell that whispers of dangerous men, gunslingers, train
robbers. The mesquite’s thorns, like sewing needles, shout,
“Come get some shade! Just don’t try to climb up.” A single,
bare cottonwood tree, no leaves, just spindly bleached sticks like
skeletal fingers reaching for the Tucson sunset, stands as
lonesome as the cowboy himself. Even the cacti don’t want you
therethe sneaky cholla, fountains of ocotillo, prickly pear, the
squat agave, and king of them all, the proud saguaro with its very
arms raised in a V. Honestly, friends, I can see how this place of
heat and drought where the plants, the rattlesnakes, and the
vultures all watch you, patiently waiting for their chance to grab
you and make you a part of this land forevermore; how this place
may not top your vacation spots, no cell service for Facebook, no
venti lattes, no bipolar meds. No, this is a hard place for hard
men, men put away and forgotten too long. But it’s only beneath
this country moon shining in a dry wash in a lost desert canyon
that a hard man can have that hard conversation with himself.

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