Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

Two Poems

by David Meischen

Desert Walker, Setting Sun

golden shovel on a haiku by
Lesley Anne Swanson
Chamisa brushes his shins, tufts
light as breath, these puffs of
its dust of blooms. And the coyote
frozen mid-step beyond: she waits,
she does not falter, beside
her a rabbit, unstrung, at his drooping ear a
glint, a flint-struck fragment, no shaft
to send it humming, no blood of
prey, no fire, no song. Only this. And moonlight.

Winding Down the Night Shift at the Roadhouse Café
clock ticks clueless
            doom notes of a doorknob
                                                clicking, clicking

                        dazzled by neon
            flash – dark – flash – dark
                        he dreams
                                    bootjacks and saddle leather
                                                weighted holster, sweat-cured chaps
            shooting sprees in briny nightmare alleys
                        bummed-out waitress at the screen door
                                    she’s lost another man
                        no one to stand by now​

David Meischen has been honored by a Pushcart Prize for his autobiographical essay, “How to Shoot at Someone Who Outdrew You,” forthcoming in Pushcart Prize XLII. Recipient of the 2017 Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story from the Texas Institute of Letters, Meischen has fiction, nonfiction, or poetry in Assaracus, BorderlandsCopper Nickel, Southern Poetry Review, Salamander, Talking Writing, and elsewhere. Co-founder and Managing Editor of Dos Gatos Press, he lives in Albuquerque, NM, with his husband—also his co-publisher and co-editor—Scott Wiggerman..