“Desert Ghosts” by Deborah L. Davitt

cresting white dunes,

a long, hot trek—watch
sidewinders slither

across the ghostly bones
of a prehistoric sea

taste the alkali,

    the bitterness of lost waters

against your thick tongue;

    the mirage in the distance

taunts you with your thirst

when you close your eyes

    plesiosaurs swim nearby—

pressure bands your breath

    struggle upwards for the air

or you’ll drown here in the dust.


Deborah L. Davitt was raised in Nevada, but currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son. Her poetry has received Rhysling, Dwarf Star, and Pushcart nominations and has appeared in over fifty journals, including F&SF and Asimov’s Science Fiction. Her short fiction has appeared in Galaxy’s Edge and Flame Tree anthologies. For more about her work, including her novels, short stories, and her poetry collection, The Gates of Never, please see www.edda-earth.com.

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