Desert People

in the brown Dodge van,
sitting on brown carpet
in the back.
There’s just no overstating
how happy it would make me
if Kenny Rogers
would go away

right now. Ray Bradbury is failing
to rescue me from the impossible
tedium of the family trip.
I’m staring
out the panorama windows
with the brown curtains,
imagining the people who
live in the rusted shacks and trailers
in the distance.  Are they

cowboys, unable to leave
their lives on horseback?
Or mobsters, lying
low, after a bank job?
Or maybe
those shacks are abandoned,
litter from a long-dead

past. My brother’s finger
an inch from my face.

I’m not touching you,
is this bothering you,
I’m not touching you.

Weighing the individual
merits of my hand
connecting with his face
my father’s hand
connecting with mine.

Mom rolls down her window
and the earthy smell
of freshly-rained-upon desert
wooshes through the van.

Who else feels like ice cream?

Dad grumbles about losing
daylight, but quickly yields
to the unanimous screams of
coming from behind.

For the first time, I realize
She was smarter than
all of us.


Tim Hatch lives in a secret volcano headquarters somewhere in the South Pacific, where he controls the world economy and writes confessional poetry about his disappointing childhood.

His poetry has been published in MungBeing, East Jasmine Review, The Pacific Review, The Vehicle, Touch: The Journal Of Healing, Apeiron Review, and he is the recipient of the 2014 Felix Valdez Award.

He finds writing about himself in the third person to be an overtly seductive invitation to tell lies.

He once captured a French Eagle at Talavera.