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Joshua Tree

(a pantoum)

Glass bottle shards

on the desert floor at night

are stars, the moon above:

our hands, cupped and empty.


On the desert floor at night

we sit, back to back,

our hands, cupped and empty

hold only firelight.


We sit, back to back

telling stories in the dark tent,

hold only firelight

in the beams of our flashlights.


Telling stories in the dark tent,

glass bottle shards

in the beams of our flashlight

are stars, the moon above.


Alex Martin...

Poet and Poet Teacher from Los Angeles

Alex Martin grew up in the Los Angeles area and currently lives in Monrovia, CA. She received her BA in Religious Studies from Stanford University and her MFA in Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.


In addition to writing poems, training with California Poets in the Schools, teaching writing and grief workshops for the Motherless Daughters San Gabriel Valley chapter, and working at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Pomona, she hikes, attempts yoga, drinks copious amounts of coffee, and searches for the peacocks that roam wild near the LA Arboretum. 


Alex has had poems published in Presence and Listen (publications of Spiritual Directors International) as well as Pirene’s Fountain (Glass Lyre Press), Selfish Zine, Peel Pages, and others. 


These breasts are new, flat and firm

and too small to fill even the thin lace bra into which they lean, eager

and with hope.


These ones are heavy and very tired. 


These ones are proud, pillowing boldly over a cup 

of stiff black lace. 


These are modest, preferring sports bras, sundresses.


These breasts swing free beneath a cotton t-shirt

and perk their tips out to celebrate the brace of another morning. 


These breasts want a man’s rough tug.   

These ones want a woman’s knowing lips.


These breasts are full of silicone and smile at you stiffly

across a great and perfect divide.


These breasts are temples that have been restored.


These breasts are glad to be here.


These ones miss children that no longer hug them

or burrow tear-streaked noses in their folds.


One divides its milk between the mouth   

of a child who is hers, and that of one who isn’t. 


One breast misses her twin

and wonders if she should shrink down

or stand up taller,

and what honor is. 


Those breasts are the ones I miss most.


That breast is the one that wore a purple tumor

like a corsage, like a rose.

Previously published by Selfish Magazine


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