“If I Should Come Upon Your House Lonely in the West Texas Desert”

From Postcolonial Love Poem

I will swing my lasso of headlights
across your front porch,

let it drop like a rope of knotted
light at your feet. 

While I put the car in park,
you will tie and tighten the loop 

of light around your waist—
and I will be there with the other end 

wrapped three times
around my hips horned with loneliness. 

Reel me in across the glow-
throbbing sea of greenthread,
bluestem prickly poppy, 

the white inflorescence of yucca
bells, up the dust-lit stairs into your

If you say to me, This is not your new
house but I am your new home

I will enter the door of your throat,
hang my last lariat in the hallway, 

build my altar of best books on your bedside
table, turn the lamp on and off, on and off, on
and off. 

I will lie down in you.
Eat my meals at the red table of your heart. 

Each steaming bowl will be, Just
. I will eat it all up,

break all your chairs to pieces.
If I try running off into the deep-purpling scrub brush, 

you will remind me,
There is nowhere to go if you are already here, 

and pat your hand on your lap lighted
by the topazion lux of the moon through the window, 

say, Here, Love, sit here—when
I do, I will say, And here I still

Until then, Where are you? What is your address?
I am hurting. I am riding the night 

on a full tank of gas and my
headlights are reaching out for


“If I Should Come Upon Your House Lonely in the West Texas Desert” from Postcolonial Love Poem. Copyright © 2020 by Natalie Diaz. Reproduced with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

Natalie Diaz
Natalie Diaz
Natalie Diaz is the author of Postcolonial Love Poem and When My Brother Was an Aztec, winner of an American Book Award. She has received many honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a USA fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Diaz is the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University.

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