Desert Desperado by Cara Marinucci

Desert Desperado

“Sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.” —Edward Albee

What I wanted was a resurrection of love
a love bearing all the gravity of one’s lifetime
What I remember is being dead for all purposes
the glint in my eye a sore memory of hope and regret

Nothing else visits my imagination at this time
the heavy smell of urine transforms any moment
into being 28 and caught way beyond redemption
strung out two nights in a squalid concrete block cell

Money trouble, women trouble, and pushing 55
20 years clean as impulsive searching for certainty
with furious activity bent towards the steady denial
of being stuck and alone with this past, present, and future

Today is as fiercely bright as the night was deep and dark
I did not want that or this, dreams at three in the morning
fill with broken places like the rib bones shattered by the sheriff
I see through clouded eyes the vision seen at Canyon de Chelles

They say there is a way to forgive and make amends
with the Jack Daniels passing through my lips I search
for salvation in the half boarded up church on the corner
where 12 year olds sell crack and women barter their bodies

I tape together the broken pieces like the crinkling photograph
of my son at age 4 staring blankly through yellowed cellophane
as determined as an armed revolutionary and mirroring my eyes
he gazes from behind bars – I will leave again before he walks free

Now, this futility, a reminder that nothing done comes undone
and leaving is the only answer that brings any peace.
Costa Rica beckons as a new mistress – Did I mention the war?


Cara Marinucci
Cara Marinucci is a counselor, teacher, and poet living in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received her Bachelor’s from Marietta College and a Master’s in Counseling from Shippensburg University. She was previously published in Sacred Bearings, Tough Times Companion, published by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

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