Driving the Desert with Zep
We were bees once, in May
before the lilac blooms blew
away, before we were itchy,
always scratching and eating
prickly pears while our skin peeled
and twisted inside out. We kissed
before our chapped lips cracked
from all that thirsty August heat,
before we rolled naked into cactus
water and wrapped ourselves in snake
skin, before we laughed
while the yellow desert ate us,
and its hornet’s nest erupted
into “Kashmir” and all that floating
dust, all those lilting tongues—
Do you remember?
We knew how to buzz once,
how to light up
before we became dead jackets,
before we became sulfured honey.
Theresa Hamman is a poet from La Grande, OR. Her poems can be found in the following literary journals and magazines: Red Savina Review, The Tower Journal, Oregon East, basalt, and Nailed. She also teaches undergraduate composition and creative writing courses at Eastern Oregon University and Southern New Hampshire University. She earned her MFA in 2016 from Eastern Oregon University, where she was also the editor of the student literary journal Oregon East. Although she enjoys writing in all creative genres, her first love is poetry. She gets lost in the musicality of it and how it bends language to create new objects.
Theresa is the mother of two grown daughters and adoring grandma to two grandchildren. When not writing, she enjoys reading, teaching, the occasional Netflix binge, and spending time with her family.