My Mother and Father Were Astronauts

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Virginia Tech

In these lyric-narrative poems, the speaker is under constant threat of violence, trouble, danger, or death, but that death is never realized. Rather, the speaker, much like many of the lives in the desert, not only survives amidst the constant threat of violence, but flourishes because of it; the interior landscape of the speaker, the tenor of the language and syntax, and exterior landscapes implied in these poems are mirror surfaces, and as such, so are we.

Despite the exterior world and relationships being arguably broken down, failed, impoverished, abandoned, etc., these poems gesture toward a sense of redemption, hope, reverence for life, and a kind of holiness that are found in the church of the desert. It has been said that the desert is monotheistic; if this is the case, then the speaker and the lives in these poems, despite being hardened by the desert, sing hymnals that celebrate that faith. There is a church in the wild.