Clyde Kessler, poet and naturalist, lives in Radford, VA with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. Several years ago they added an art studio to their home and named it Towhee Hill. His latest book of poems, Fiddling at Midnight’s Farmhouse (Cedar Creek Publishing), was illustrated by his wife, Kendall Kessler.
East of Seven Troughs, Nevada
I drive cliffs in the rain shadow
darker than obsidian in Nevada.
The dry air feels as if it gambles
a cloud, and sputters my old car
round and round, an unnumbered
roulette wheel shaking the road.
The windshield likewise loses
the sky. It feels like a chimney
turned upside down, the stars drop
like the weirdest yellow poker chips
and the quarter moon slinks by
begging me to haul it through walls.
Whipple chollas are blooming now
and with the noon heat, all I can do
is dream a strange, spiked lemonade
in my veins. I’ll wager my seat belt.
I’ll favor you an Indian head penny
so rare the sun pours down ice cubes.