Antelope Valley
by Kevin Acers

“…Two lizards doing push-ups in the sun.”
-–Coreen Knox

She admires desert reptiles for their daily calisthenics.
They do countless repetitions of anaerobic blinks.

They warm up with mysterious tricks to color-match themselves
to the hues of sun baked rocks in the pale dry dirt.

With elbows bent they flex their well-toned tongues.
Their biceps are modest but their stamina is muscular.

Maintaining steady respiration,
they do not sweat.

Unmoved by the notion of six-pack abs, they never preen.
They find motivation in instincts more basic than vanity.

They demonstrate indifference to the gaze of this woman
who squats nearby to admire their physiques.

Immune to her pheromones,
their cold blood fails to stir.

Their stoic strength inspires her to stand finally,
smiling, and lift the weightless sky.

Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.