Cathexis Northwest Press
By: Amy Byrne
I wrote: left right walk write, flanked by palm trees, nameless men in green, wolves and tanks and signs. This is heaven. This is heaven in my head; heaven on fire. These things move in threes. Knit memory, weave words, paint with every color of the alphabet. Bet. Orange and blue: beget begin beloved sunrise hue. Memento mei cum rosa, I wrote,
because there was nothing left to do but
dote ardently on my own skin, write love
into the fabric of my being. I am
alive. This is a love letter to me.
It is peach seeds, it is breadcrumbs, it is
red hair and self portraits. It is autumn,
my autumn chant, my oasis, I wrote.
Amy Byrne is an Englishwoman who currently resides near Joshua Tree National Park. She is partial to whiskey and spontaneous tattoos.
“Years ago, I got a tattoo of the Salvador Dali painting ‘Meditative Rose’ at the base of my neck. Now, I live in the desert, on 29 Palms Marine Corps base, and I go on long walks every day with my dog -- during which I get completely lost in thought, often writing down these streams of consciousness. I knit this poem together after one such morning. 29 Palms is the sort of place that a lot of people grumble about, because almost all of us on base aren't here by choice, but I have recently fallen very much in love with the desert. I keep going back to the Dostoevsky quote that hangs over my TV at home: ‘We are all in paradise, but refuse to see it.’”