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they said the West was not for us
they said, go back
to your damp and your fog
and your cold, gray despair
the West is for desperados and bleached bones,
for hawk-eyed hunters of solace,
for cattle, staid peace-keeping gods
of the decades of dry winds that whisper once
into the heart of the agave, “bloom, bloom”
for the sun that still rises and the
dead that stay dead

but, we asked, do we not rise also?
do we not bloom after lying in wait,
forgotten for so many years?
are we not the pioneer seeking
and the cowboy outlasting
and the herd stampeding
and the old bones wasting?
if the West is for life and death and the brave who walk between,
then the West is for us,
we who shake off our fates
to grasp again
at life



Blaize Kelly Strothers is a writer, artist, and science fiction enthusiast from Inwood, Manhattan. Her poetry and artwork have appeared or are forthcoming in Apparition Literary MagazineScifaikuest, and Star*Line and can be found at blaizestrothers.com.
Current Issue
26 Feb 2024

I can’t say any of this to the man next to me because he is wearing a tie
Language blasts through the malicious intentions and blows them to ash. Language rises triumphant over fangs and claws. Language, in other words, is presented as something more than a medium for communication. Language, regardless of how it is purposed, must be recognized as a weapon.
verb 4 [C] to constantly be at war, spill your blood and drink. to faint and revive yourself. to brag of your scars.
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