the Phoenix by Taylor Stoneman

the Phoenix

the Phoenix

by Taylor Stoneman

I am a creature of the Sonoran,
that parched desert seared with saguaros,
my veins brimming with
shimmering heat and the daring willpower to
survive, to marinate in resilience
and build a life worth living—

The moon of my heart
is no tidy thing. I do not know
who abandoned who first.
Tangled roots grow through concrete
when they have no other option.
I like to think I am solid as a
redwood, steadfast as the beating
drum of the Pacific’s waves.
But still, even saguaros fall at
the bite of a bulldozer.

I carry your hurt, though I wish to discard it.
The mourning dove’s hum ushers in the
smell of desert rain in that cul-de-sac as
I crush the creosote’s tough leaves in my palm,
hot breath unlocking the synapses.
These days I feel called by the cottonwoods—
that sign of oasis, of respite—to drink from the
waters of the wild, to sing the song of the
black-throated sparrow, to lace my ribs
together with that red-hot Arizona sky.


Born in Arizona, Taylor Stoneman now calls Northern California home. Though she relishes the roiling coast and its towering redwoods, she remains drawn to her desert roots, and her poetry spans both worlds. She is a nonprofit attorney by trade but is nourishing a growing interest in poetry. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Plants & Poetry Journal, the Dillydoun Review, and Rue Scribe.

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