#18 NUEVO MEXICO by Mary Morris

This is the land of duende.

Penitente erect crosses on hills,
flagellate beyond highways—

air dry enough, land hard enough
to grow thorns on cactus for the crown of Jesus

while flamenco dancers stomp their feet
in dark corners of smoky bars,

spark flames in the hearts
of Donna and Juan’s irrepressible desire.

Shhh.  In every village on Sunday you are offered
to eat and drink the body and blood of Christ.

Amethyst mountains rise luminous—
nine thousand feet of pulled sediment.

-first published in Poet Lore

Mary Morris is the winner of the Rita Dove Award and the New Mexico Discovery Award.  Her work appears widely, and is  included in Quarterly West, Indiana Review, Gargoyle, Blue Mesa Review, Southern Humanities Review,The Sun, and  St. Petersburg Review.

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