Joshua Trees by Susana H. Case

La Loba, Bone Woman,
beckons with a cackle and I walk
through desert, my sobs
bouncing off the heat. Joshua trees,
their green-tipped spirals on spread
arms, mock the way pride
keeps me from begging for love.

A young coyote follows,
a reddish-faced, studious expression.
Coyote, mediator between life
and death, who plays tricks, sculpts
our bodies from mud into nerves
and flesh so we feel pain.

La Loba can sing to a creature’s bones
until it opens its eyes, breathes again.
Collector of the lost, she makes
the ground shake until I reverse
and follow her animal, soul-guide,
sprinting straight toward the horizon.


Susana H. Case’s newest and fourth poetry collection is 4 Rms w Vu (Mayapple Press, 2014). She is also the author of 4 chapbooks, including Manual of Practical Sexual Advice (Kattywompus Press). The Scottish Café (Slapering Hol Press) was re-released in a Polish-English version, Kawiarnia Szkocka, by Opole University Press in Poland. Case is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology. Recent poems can be found in: The Cortland Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Portland Review, Potomac Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, and dozens of other magazines and anthologies. Also a photographer, her photos have appeared in Blue Hour Magazine, pacificREVIEW, and San Pedro River Review, among others. Please visit her online at: iris.nyit.edu/~shcase/.

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