“Desert Love Poem” by Dominika Wrozynski

Dominika Wrozynski


This is our second Christmas, the make-it-or-break-it
Christmas where we decide. I didn’t know whether
I would still love you tomorrow. So today you’ve left
on a hunt for a natural tree because we are both tired
of talking and my mother is coming to spend her first
Christmas in New Mexico, eat green chile rice at your
parents’, get to know their Chihuahuas as the dogs
hump her leg. I wanted her to have a tree, not from
the Walmart parking lot, but a pine from the mesa,
cut by you with a blunt axe—the only one we have.
You will refuse to wear gloves, knick your thumb, swear
into the year’s first snow. But you will bring it back,
remember when you hunted trees with your father last
year, how his beard caught the sudden storm, and how
he dragged the prize through his asthma home to your
mother. She cried that night, cursed him for almost
killing you both. You will then understand how she
leaned into your father after she was tired of talking,
after there was nothing more to say.

from Rattle #43, Spring 2014
Tribute to Love Poems

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Dominika Wrozynski: “I often look at my own work as a poetry editor looks at submissions (since I’ve been a poetry editor for various journals for almost ten years). As an editor, I always want a poem that makes me want to go into the editorial meeting and put up a fight to see the poem in print. Give me an arsenal of surprising images, unusual word choice, and a critical awareness of what it means to be human. If I’m going to take the effort to fight for a poem, I want it to win. As a poet, I hope to write poems for which I’d put up a fight.”

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