By Morgan Clark

Native
I am angry in monsoons,
here out of nowhere and gone just as quickly.
My forgiveness is the crisp, clean scent of creosote,
once the storm finally breaks.
I grow cactus spines,
to keep people at a distance.
My despair beats down like the sun,
evaporating the precious drops of hope-like-dew I have left,
in the desert soil of my soul.
But my joy is the countering breeze,
bringing sweet relief from the crushing heat.
I smile in thousands of little yellow blossoms,
bursting into life on palo verde trees.
I am the ocotillo,
reaching always for the sky.
I relax in the coils of a rattlesnake,
bathing in the warm sunlight.
I love strong and permanent like mountains
in my Santa Rita-Tucson-Catalina-Rincon heart.

I look,
and see Tucson in the mirror.

I love Tucson and I wanted to find some way to show how growing up here has impacted me, so I wrote this poem to show how much Tucson is a permanent and irreplaceable part of who I am.