The land in Nevada seems barren
like evil witch skin until you get
a better view. Start with a
close-up of crater valley, five shades
of brown, the ochre lip of serious
plummage, cracked ridge,
circular but not perfectly so, its irregular
features staring up at feathery wisps
of malnourished clouds.
Something as forceful as god rearranged
what once was, what once lay dormant,
dehydrated rivers, quivering
with geologic memories, nothingness pre-
served, dead sea, land succession bolted,
flat-lined except for mountain
ridges, curved, curling up toward bleak sky.
Ancient birds, vectors of pestilence, rise
from pink ash beds, illuminating
the very place I stand. I reach out, I reach
up, grasping at history’s breath, pulling it
in on top of me, seeking resurrection
of soul, spirit, body; acknowledging
the eminent passing of all that I am
into the hot mouth of time.
Whether John Dorroh taught any secondary science is still being discussed. He did manage, however, to show up at 6:45 every morning with at least three lesson plans and a thermos of robust Colombian. His poetry has appeared in about 80-85 journals, including Dime Show Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Os Pressan, Feral, Selcouth Station, and Red Dirt Forum/Press. He also writes short fiction and the occasional rant.