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Ojo Caliente- Hot Springs

By Virginia Barrett

On the red cliff overlooking

the springs a raven lands. With

her beak she picks up a piece

of dry grass, cocks her head

as if offering it to another, then

releases it. Steam rises up to

the gray sky. Raining, we still

soak in the pool, hotter than our

fever-less selves. Drops hit

the water and leap up again, small

clear eruptions; iron is beneficial

for the blood. A man gets wet

walking with a sign: Please

Whisper—these are ancient

waters. Still, some can’t keep

their voices down. In the desert,

rain is a blessing. We hold our

faces to the sky, thirst to be

heard as the raven flies off with

her vanishing gestures toward

the hidden source.

Virginia Barrett’s books of poetry include Between Looking, (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming, 2019) Crossing Haight, and I Just Wear My Wings. Her work has most recently appeared in the Writer’s Chronicle, Narrative, What Rough Beast, Roar: Literature and Revolution by Feminist People, Ekphrastic Review, Weaving the Terrain (Dos Gatos Press), and Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice (University of Arizona Press).  She received a 2017 writer’s residency grant from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of Taos, NM. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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