rock art in the nevadan dunes

on the day before more rain,
an olivine stag appears in my dream.

two prongs, pinnate arms,
ermines from the magnetic king’s pen covering his mane

& lumbar broad-beams i’ve ridden on,
returning now more bowstrung & with seasoning.

drums of the ponderosas whine,
sages drop spines, cover us in fire mound ashes, smoke leaves

the ground as we’ve found it first wet without a tent,
lacking moonshine, only a blunted hammer

to find the nation asleep on paiute land
in past-time smog, eating yucca with the orange fox—

silence keeps pounding delta mud to skeletons rattled
in the bath: a lustrous basin, shelling flour.

the scale tips in my favor. wherever redbuds break juniper,
they’d leave us in armor. a glimmer of adam

in the grains we’d take to molar.
follies bloom another world over: flies to a rose-boobied lizard.

some desert roses for my lover.
sands in his palm slip away the time, & before we know it, owls
run the jumping rats down the canyon rim, where they fall in the longest
seconds they’ve ever felt
off of this world.

choosing lift,
choosing the bird,
clinging to the talons of life they are about to take part of,

become owlets in the womb, become
breath brooding.

i’ll build a bridge to bow and arch my arm, salt fines
from the wind settle down in the deepest cone; snowmelt closes the valve to varnish

of gray hanging
films. it is clearly the river drawing me in from the swing of a bosom’s bench.

come away the trains, commuting queen anne’s laces of street alleys dare dance on
rings of myriad plane-trees, uncertain that i

yet there’s him, meadows below the suspension bridge, a spring the berth of
a vessel, a whole stadium of whales, and upon it stands
the spinous calm—

monsters we all may have conquered
are themselves impaled when the blue light flashes, when
stars begin to lose varnish.

to metamorphose into more uselessness
is my target.

when i aim for the village gruel & count my ropes, it is so wet outside
the membrane took


joy is careening myself and becoming anew.

there’s rock art in the nevadan dunes i one-two triggered away.
moon blooms
for the ones here again. one is a figure so
everywhere is signs of beasts, ones i don’t, ones i do remember.

i best not touch immortality
while i ponder for the figurine—her rooting—walking along a longer lava promontory.





Zixiang Zhang (he/him/his) has poems published or forthcoming in various journals, including Hanging Loose, Northwest Press, Consilience, and Pensive. Once, he published a study on brachiopods in the journal Paleobiology. He teaches Earth science at a small high school in NYC and enjoys growing succulents, erging, sunbathing, and sundry. He may be active @zzverse.