Merriam's kangaroo rat
Good midnight Arizona
and blackest Sonora.
It’s a dry rain and a sandy sand
between the creosotes,
Their poison-seeping roots
don’t share their area.
So it’s between
for this rat,
who eats what the rain smells like
and collects those old seeds,
beads like black eyes
in luxurious fur-lined cheeks
that don’t need drink agua.
Nor does this rat need coyotes
to usher its scampers,
and leaps, and tunnelings through.
Sweeping bristle-tipped trails
and leaps, oh leaps.
Between in the night, you leap.
Between in the night, you dig under the stars.
Between in the night you grate softly,
sixteen toenails graze warmly the sand.
Between in the night you bound.
Between in the night you’re bound to this sand.
Shelby Driscoll grew up in Tucson, Arizona. She holds a creative writing degree from the University of Arizona. Her work has appeared in Nylon Magazine.