Maya Jurgens

The concrete veins branch
Until the road can be friends
With the clouds and choked
dirt at last meets the affable air.

In utah, the rock-red spires
Are desert-clad spaceships
Made of mirages

                     Meeting packed land.

The hills sprout into mountains
In Montana so that

                 the sky is their accessory.

Like the milkweed tracing the creeks,
My fingertips trace the breeze as
The simple roads soak my skin,
Blend with the map on my palms.

Spirals of junipers send
Crystal rivers rushing through
My veins and flush out the city,
The artificial stress until my polluted
Mind runs cognitively numb.

I vow to steal the simplicities of the shifting hills —
Evanescent landscapes wandering by.

The only existing moment is captured in the window of the car;
                    Worries are whether the glass lake is as cold as it looks
                                    Not making it to the hotel because we were charmed
                                    By a honey coated meadow off the road.

So the canyon winds whisper
My name, and at night I trust them to
Guide my flight. With constellation
Embroidered wings, and lungs
Full of stardust, my conditioned mind at last
Meets the forgotten galaxy –

        A lullaby of creeks, harmony of
                        coyotes; green striations of
                                                bedrock, red
                                                                    sand, chapped sage drinking

Even the darkness is bright.

Maya Jurgens is a junior at Northwestern studying neuroscience and creative writing. She hopes to be the first surgeon to perform a procedure on another planet.