Love in the Desert
In forty-five minutes, he said, go outside
with a camera and take my picture. If no shots
go astray at the nearby shooting range,
I’ll be on top of that mountain,
and I’ll be waving my arms.
Then my crazy, jogging husband
was on his way as I sat, camera in hand,
in the Chihuahuan Desert, thinking about
roads high and low that we had traveled
and those who venture or who stay behind.
In forty-five minutes I stood ready,
facing a mountain bathed in sun.
Was he standing there? I saw nothing.
But sight sometimes can crystallize:
I squinted, saw a fine thread at the top
like the filament in a light bulb—
haphazard, hazy, thin,
almost absent to the eye,
at the moment an electrical shock
blazes it into light.
Maybe he’s waving his arms, I thought,
or maybe not. I snapped the shot
I hold today: a bare-rock mountain
in the desert, its peak ablaze with emptiness—
no: crowned with incandescence.
An Endless Loop
In the desert, he lies alone in pain
inside a high cave, no food or water,
his ankle broken. She runs
for help, is trapped, delayed,
and almost immolated. She
lies on a hospital bed, burning
in an agony of helplessness.
Time is surely, surely running out.
Her story, never one of rescue, always
of an endless yearning—she
forever trying to hold back a sun
forever disappearing into earth.
Lynn Hoggard received a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Southern California and taught at Midwestern State University as Professor of English and French and Coordinator of Humanities. In 2003, the Texas Institute of Letters awarded her the Soeurette Diehl Fraser award for best translation. She has published six books: three French translations, a biography, a memoir, and a poetry collection (Bushwhacking Home, TCU Press, 2017) and has published poems in more than forty peer-reviewed journals.