bath towels swathed wet, unmatched--
orange-sherbet, rose-pink, palm-green—
97 degrees, hung to dry.
A jug of sun-brewed tea glistens golden
on the apricot wall in-between
cotton fabrics wet-washed, sun-dried.
plucks sun-hot tomatoes,
synchronized with sunflowers
Ms. sells jars of Hatch
green chile, X-hot, in salsa red
to desert warm regulars.
Praises concoction as homeopathic,
hot weather remedy for lurid souls.
Along the rundown sidewalk,
crawling ants and weed-filled cracks,
zebra sheets drape a ramshackle fence.
They are dry as the shriveled nopales
lining the alleyway, where
sounds of a familiar
boot squash Tecate cans echo—
cash for aluminum recycled,
coins for tortillas at Amigos
Sweat wet guy zips by,
pedals blue bicycle salvaged from dump.
Lilac fabric softener midair whacks
the cycler’s face as he belts out the vintage
tune: “I want to ride my bicycle;
I want to ride it where I like.”
At sidewalk’s turn
squatters wipe their bums with newspaper,
bent behind jamocha brown sofa
abandoned in a field.
Anyone could be there
anyone could be on metal springs springing
like scorpion stingers from furniture once serene.
Wendy Sue Gist was born in California, raised in Northern Arizona. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Dark Matter Journal, Burningword Literary Journal, New Plains Review, Oyez Review, Pif Magazine, Rio Grande Review, RipRap, Sundog Lit, The Chaffey Review, The Fourth River, Tulane Review and other fine journals.