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Night, Las Cruces

the neighborhood smelled like smoked chile on a nearly dry pan, and the adobe buildings felt cool and rough with the moon.

walking home, after two Tecates at a bar, shadow mixed with that of the agave that lined the street.

the bartender played ranchera over the muted television that played footage of the president’s open mouth, splattering patrons with red dirt and the mud that makes up most of the Rio Grande.

there’s something to be said about the line in the lit up valley that goes dark. there’s something to be said about the checkpoint guards that wave certain people through.

two halves that feed their children hatch green chiles. two halves waiting for a better morning.

the bar smelled like cologne and spices and tequila and the music was very loud. colorful embroidered blouses and overalls lined up together in a row. the night drips like water from a spout in the street, perfectly measured, waiting

for the next boom of newspaper headlines and political commentators and the anger they spew over a red line in the dirt. for more children to die

as the blue adobe buildings cool under the moon.

                                                                                                                                                —Sarah Korn

Sarah Korn is a poet and activist based in Missoula, Montana, writing mostly about the intersection between environmental and social justice. Most of her work creates layers on the traditional place-based storytelling and rich imagery of rural American poets. She likes to explore the deeper meaning of what it means to be 'here,' including shining light on the barriers to accessing the mountains and rivers that most of us take for granted. She is a graduate of the University of Montana Creative Writing program and currently works for a nonprofit defending our voting rights.