desert flower, sprouting roots
the desert sun grants me a gift -
to shed this dead weight like old skin.
in her heat, my melanin shows its
true color; deeper. warmer. richer.
daddy tells me that we are a sun people.
that her rays smile on us, make us
curly and brown and wet,
that she grants us life,
and she grants us death,
and we are allowed to experience all
between, before, and after.
with her, i laugh, and i rarely cry
yet the sweat seems to taste
like tears all the same.
sadness with the sun is a sin,
but at times, i forget this.
my new skin does not burn,
but tightens, restricts,
becomes raw and red -
releases its water. leaves me thirst.
on this pilgrimage, my limbs
shake, bones crack, lips pray
the mojave asks me to shrivel and dry,
but her sun grants me its gifts anyway.