We wished only to speak sunlight into our hearts,
To follow mountain spirits toward ‘The Giver of Life,’
To own nothing and everything, to bow to no man.
Now our mesquites and cacti are barren. We carry life
On our fingernails and we wait to die.
First published in Foliate Oak: May, 2011
Kevin Heaton was born in Council Grove, Kansas, and grew up in Oklahoma. He currently lives and writes in South Carolina. His work has appeared in a number of publications including Guernica, Rattle, Slice Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Adroit Journal, and Verse Daily. He is a Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee.
Edited by August Wright