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Greetings From

Watching my feet, hands under water. See where the skin is layered, the lines of a canyon.
The gold against the blue. The feel of water, its weight. What it holds, carries. Later I say I
cant get use to the timeto be behind in the present moment. To be adjusted to a different
coastline. To see a mountain again out the window.

A line buriedwhere two plates move together. Ground caught shifting. Aheadthe
mountain we keep looming in the distance. The highest point in Southern California to the
right. You & rain & grey three hours ahead. It used to be an ocean were sure. Rocks
beneath lava. Later well figure this out. Later Ill send you a picture. Again a body
underwater. Skin taking in heat, the landscape arid. Its brighter than. The moment of green.
The shrub the brush. It forms a tuff rather than. The small plants that grow at the base of
the roots. The sea we cant name. A different valley. The wind farm we werent warned
about. The light in the west: warmed, longer. Reaching the shadows. I didnt buy the lipstick
I wanted, a camera. What is it like to live here. Do they still measure out the water, pull the
lever until the line. The wind that carries down the smog. The valleythe bit of green I can.
The air on the drive back from Joshua Tree. Trapped in a moment moving forward.

One warm light outside a house, against the midnight color the sky takes. Earth moving
beneath but not felt. Ive never traveled to a desert but I know sand, know dry heat pressing
on a body. Like hands on shoulders. We drive north & the green comes in. Signs about the
drought, a new dust bowl. The aqueduct. The rolling hills. The valleya plain between
mountains, hills or an escape. A presence. I hold my hand out the window, theres no rain
here. The idea of wind, the idea of landscape plotting the course for this state. I come from
this but dont know how to put it.

A name for the mountain in the rearview mirror. That water can have a timeline longer than
ours. To think of the memories of a landscapea valley once covered, an ocean. When the
mountain was viewed by no onebefore memory was a thing. I place myself heremy
body in different air. The lack of water apparent. A sense of danger, things that could but do
not form. The dirt under my nails ancient, belonging to erosion. The need for a new
language to speak of a landscape. That water can carry age. Here I learned how to growto
spit your name in the wind. To put mine back in my mouth. To ignore time, focus on light.
Half past 3 now a longer shadow from the hills. The weight water takes.

We drank three bottles of wine & slept with the fan on. In the morning the desert, later a
drive with the windows down. Two girlswater reflects both ways, cutting a figure in half.
In front of the house the Little DipperI ask her what this means. I dont understand how
a month can turn to nothing, how I drove across a state & you forgot my name in the
process. Lungs collecting dust, a body of water that no longer exists. That water takes shape,
has mass.
Later the skin on my ears peels. Later I send my family a postcard not mailed until two days

according to river flow / occupied / dry / a flood a change / in course / the lake abandoned
From here we see the fault linebranches, fractures. The same way a scar works, the one on
my arm my own mistake. The list of things we didnt do. The name of the mountain I now
forget. Two months later I read that the sea is shrinking, dust carried. Here in New York it
rains when we ask it not to. In both places I close my eyes. Bedrock, charcoal. Deposits.
Stretched. We smoke behind the house, the moon too close. Our shadows cold. Bathing
suits limp over the shower. She drives & I sleep, the radio. Turn right, continue for 50 miles.
Already my body regrets leaving, misses the pressing of the heat, geology, the blue in that
moment of yellow.

Chanice Hughes-Greenberg is a poet, Capricorn, & chic cat lady living in Bed-Stuy. She
graduated from Pratt Institute in 2010 with a BFA in Writing & hails from Upstate New
York by way of Long Island. Her work has appeared in Caketrain, Correspondence, Art
Observed, &Packet Biweekly. She is the Membership & Direct Mail Coordinator at The Studio
Museum in Harlem, & drinks ros year round.