Red Rock

by Kate Ward '23 on February 16, 2023
Portfolio Co-Editor


Night begins to move, writhing and seething as the bristled backs catch the light of the dropping sun. Among the red rock lives a creature who carries night on his back and stars in his eyes. 

The cicada calls to him from his place along the ravine scarred by waters now long dry. 

Those who nestle in the red rock carry the history of the lost. 

The Cocopah tribe, the cowboys, each driven out. 

The creature among the rock, the javelina, their tribe becoming lost. 

Soon the blood orange of the rock, the yucca, and the crimson of the berries in the underbrush won’t be enough.

Soon the javelina will have to engage with the streets

Will have to understand humans in his desert home. 

The javelina speaks through a bristled muzzle, “I have understood the desert without them, it is sweeter than the blooms of the prickly pear. It is sweet like the rain. It is bright and calming like the red rock.”

The cicada sings his jagged song of mourning.