Petra Salazar


Sky views of god
Peyote and mushrooms
Initiations through sand dunes
And broken red earth

In this dry, barbed landscape
The cholla looms high
Haloed by the moon
Half-dead in the night

We hike to hot springs
Burning high beneath
A low ceiling of stars
The light of headlamps
Catch rocks and cracks
Just in time
To lift our feet
Alive with curiosity
And the courage
Of the young
La indígena
And old gringo hippies

Just over the hill
We hear the coyotes gathering
To sing their wild war hymns

Those tricksters walking on hind legs
Along desert canyon walls
Are shadows playing with your eyes

Candles melting on stones
Lit sticks of ancient medicine

We merge
Into the steam,
The stars,
And the juniper trees



Petra Salazar is a coyote (regional term for an Indohispano/Anglo racial identity) from Española, New Mexico aka “Spaña.” They teach children at a Montessori school and adults at Petra’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Sonora Review, The Southampton Review, Latin American Literature Today, and elsewhere.