Carlsbad After Dark
I remember how the air smelled like warm guano
before the bats swarmed out of the cave at Carlsbad.
How they spiraled up toward a full orange moon.
How the park ranger joked about rattlesnakes
eating a family’s chihuahua while they crooked
their necks toward the purple sky. I remember
looking at my wristwatch and the itching sensation
on the back of my legs. How I was worried about
desert fleas. I don’t remember where we parked.
I remember how the air-conditioned air chilled
our faces. How the ice machine spat out perfectly
square cubes. How we smelled chlorine
from the pool. I remember the bite of white
onions on our fast-food hamburgers and how
the salt on the French fries made our tongues
swell like sea cucumbers. I remember how
we slept like bats in a cave. How no one snored.
But I don’t remember the drive back home.
John Dorroh is a composter, recycler, and procrastinator. His first poem was written with his mom’s red lipstick on the bathroom walls. He may have evolved a bit since then. His poems have appeared in Feral, Blue River Heron, Os Pressan, and many others. He also writes short fiction and the occasional rant.