“The only way is to hug the cactus.”
Her inebriated lips casually spill
over his black denim-ed lap.
“I guess this means you must hug me,”
he speaks. “With each puncture, you will
learn to breathe.
My intent is not to hurt you.”

{I am certain he seeks to not collapse into breath}

She hears in his stories,
his eye for interconnection.

{I don’t trust your sense-is-able}

Without the hooked central spine,
She would not see inside.
Without the unusual flattened spine,
her soul loving hands would not touch.
Without the varied spine,
she could not be open to needed lessons.
Even the cactus
requires roots.
A single burly taproot.
Tendrilly, independent spine roots.

{Remember, the rare adventitious roots ought to be reserved for those few
who honor your heart’s naked love}

The wisdom in her pained-past stories
are quieted.
If woken, they would speak.
“It all matters – even the nothing.
OH! Especially the nothing.
Each structure of nothing, love
keeps the everything cactus alive.
The patterns repeat from core to sky.
Making love.”

{Please, only if you feel truly safe}

Fucking a cactus,
is a demonstration in the streets.
Soon forgotten, in the noise of the noise.
Loving a cactus,
THAT is a lollapalooza.
Leaving remains,
sticky love-soaked memories.
Propelling us forward.
Pereskia flowers open to the sun.

{Turn towards your doubtful desert-rain’s whisper: 
Are the words ‘fucking’ and ‘love’ reversed for him?}

There is more to a desert earth flower,
than the point in which the spike enters her skin.
The structure of nature,
mimics throughout
the everything of the nothing.

{This rising ancestor, again, speaks:
There is no everything in this form’s nothing}


Poet’s note: Ever watch someone at the beginning of a huge mistake? Knowing that speaking in the moment would be heard as a lie? You hold space, stay present, and wait for the window of opportunity. Even if it is 6 months later and the opportunity is an actual window, that “the mistake” put his fist through. I wrote this while I watched, waited for the window.

art by Steven Kenny


Hokis is an American poet of Armenian descent. She is Founder and Senior Editor of Headline Poetry & Press and a regular contributor to Reclamation Magazine. Hokis is widely published digitally and in print. Her poetic memoir "OnBecoming: Aesthetic Evolution of This Rising Ancestor" is available on Amazon or through your indie bookstore. For more, visit hokis.blog.

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