Valley of the Moon

Posted in

there are some places that invite you to pour

yourself into them all sharp rock

and sand and cactus needles glittered

with drops of nectar where horses

are lean and wild and roam the way

they’re meant to whinnying blends

with wind and there’s a toughness

to everything the air tastes like

determination behind the hard

is sweetness the soft flesh of fruit

under a rind mica shining

in the black scales the lizard

sheds after basking at noon

the heat is a second-skin the sweat

turns to clay smeared by fingers

shaped by calluses the desert remembers

that you are 60% water and it will

suck every last drop


Nicole Bethune Winters is a poet, writer and multi-faceted artist. Her first collection, brackish, was published by Finishing Line Press, and her work has appeared in Backlash Journal, Wild Roof Journal, and Seaborne Magazine. When she isn’t writing or wheel-throwing, Nicole is likely at the beach, on a trail, climbing, or exploring new landscapes with her dog. She currently resides in Southern California, where she works as a full-time artist from her home studio.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN