The Melancholy of Moving Back to the Desert

A grown man shouldn’t need to return
to the land of his childhood

tummy-showing and barefoot.

You should live where mountains and water
compliment your dual ascendant, the one

reaching for high mountain lakes; the other
the depth of ocean.

My patio fountain in the Sonoran Desert,
like a mockingbird, its trickling water incessant—

a waterboard.

The best change comes slowly
like summer, when Sun forces burnt skin

into action.

Even flies know when to leave.

I’ll wait to see if my wife packs for two.

Stephen Linsteadt is a painter, poet, and writer. He is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Beauty of Curved Space (Glass Lyre Press), and the non-fiction book Scalar Heart Connection. His poetry has appeared in Silver Birch Press, Synesthesia Literary Journal, Pirene’s Fountain, San Diego Poetry Annual, Gyroscope Review, Saint Julian Press, and others. Stephen’s paintings have appeared in Reed Magazine, Badlands Literary Journal, Birmingham Arts Journal, and can be seen at
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