PRESERVATION BLUES
by rosemarie dombrowski

You are the X marking the spot
on the rock, in the crevice of basalt
where you shed your scales
one-by-one,
drying them between shadows
like a woman’s bleaching bones,
a garden of onions with shallow roots.

Here, everything falls victim
to the jackrabbit or drought.
Here, where the sunlight
skirts along heavy grain,
we shape-shift into leathery folds,
striations of beige,
a bowl of dried spines twisted into knots.