He keeps handing me cacti to hold, saying Can you hold this for just a second? At first, I gripped them with my bare hands, wrapped my fingers around their emerald spines, pricked my palms with them. He was gentle and quiet until my hands filled up, then he made me his pushpin, began to press them against my body like Velcro, hook to loop. Now I have succulents dangling off every part of me, I’m sharp and dangerous, I look scary, and even when they’re all finally removed, the spines will never leave me.
Thomas Hobohm lives in San Francisco but grew up in Texas. They are 22 years old and single. They are the Web Editor at The Adroit Journal. Their work is published or forthcoming in Poetry Online, SmokeLong Quarterly, and The Worcester Review. Find them at https://www.thomashobohm.com/.
Other stars in the Saguaro asterism:
When we reach out to her, she clasps one of our hands in both of her own. We feel the impression of her fingers on ours long after she has turned away.
The Chinese Man and the Desert
Idioms were a topic of conversation but not the reason people spent money on the app. The people on the app were lonely. Twenty dollars an hour was not bad for a cure.
Woodland Wisdom Tooth
An ancient bird broke away from the brigade and snuck in / to watch a film on trees.
I Asked Pain Its Address,
Ashish Kumar Singh
Here, the pain says and points to my leg like a child unsure of where the Arctic might be on a map.
Sneha Subramanian Kanta
On a June night when the south-westerly monsoon winds bring drizzles to Mahrashtra, my father asks if we must call my grandfather. I immediately agree.
Time and Tides