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After dark, the prairie ripens

with desire. Fields of want and dust vibrate under your feet
with lust. Cicadas, crickets, locusts all

jump in your blood as the light shyly melts,
blushes in heat and the insistent stars

come on. It’s hard
to hear the hot music

panting at your earlobes, pulsing
in your head, and not just slow kiss the leathery stranger

at the crosswalk, the one hiding
his crossbow. Or climb

into a random backseat by the highway and disappear
with the sun. Inkblot smudges

the sky. God has a horse thief’s hand resisting
fingerprinting. Foxtails. Purplish bruise

of thistledown clouds. Cicadas scratch their itch, their ache forever
into the sleepwalking night. Their blind want is on

repeat. You are a sleepwalker too, traveling backwards inside
and soon you’re twelve in a thin nightgown of fog, haunting

a rumpled trucker staring down from his long-haul late at night
at your bare feet in the mud and gravel,

a diesel angel guarding wood, as a familiar voice far away implores

you. Sliver of moon: stiffen, listen to the almighty
hush of grasses, then hurry home fast

before sweaty Cupid shoots his arrow for no reason right into

your rabbit throat.

Leah Callen lived for years on the west coast of British Columbia, but she became a prairie woman last year. She now calls Regina, Saskatchewan home.