I talk out loud to ghosts
and never mind how it sounds.

Stella, I tell her, I’m sorry I did not keep up
your garden. The bougainvillea must be

with you now, but the barrel cacti
are huge and house those rock squirrels

you love. I still rely on the medium of nectar
for hummingbirds, a flashlight for snakes

and wish I could roll rocks around
the desert as you did at 80.

Aunt Hannah, I am listening to a fairy tale
novel with incantations sung in your voice.

I can say the names of the citadel streets
and feral girl who saved its wild horses.

For the long dead, I chat to no one
over coffee with cream, as we used to,

but for those recently gone, even for
the trivial, I can’t help but address the sky.

Zayda, I tell it, you would like these pretzels.
They have lots of salt

Image credit:Artem Kovalev

Sara Clancy is a Philadelphia transplant to the Southwest.  Her chapbook Ghost Logic won the 2017 Turtle Island Quarterly Editors Choice Award. Among other places, her poems have appeared in Off the Coast, The Linnet's Wings, Crab Creek Review, The Madison Review, Misfit Magazine, Avatar Review and Verse Wisconsin. She lives in the desert with her husband, their dog, two ordinary cats and a psychotic cross-eyed one.