J.T. Welsch

Two Poems

The Desert

The desert is in the heart of your brother.
Your brother doesn’t even read poetry, but
keeps the desert’s book, with that dumb title,
where you’ll see when you next scrounge dinner.

But the desert’s just one of these kids who
make bad jokes at a poem’s expense, you say.
Your brother sticks the receipt at one about
being tagged in people’s photos of their dessert.

The desert’s big secret is that it has no secrets.
Anything you’ve learned to admire in art and life,
the desert infers. The desert can afford irony.
You should see the desert’s parents’ records.

While you were pouring out your teenage soul,
the desert was becoming the sort of desert
people might not want to live with, but relate to.
Your students still talk about the desert’s visit.

The desert only worries about what all deserts
worry about. The desert certainly doesn’t lie
here wondering if craft is a kind of entitlement,
or if its ruin will just prove the system works.

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