Coachella Elegy

Somewhere there’s music.
We drive by Coachella

to the Salton Sea.
A sea as dead as Salt Lake.

My phone buzzes.
It’s the anniversary

of my brother’s death.
There are no reeds

as there are at Cana
and this water will not

become wine.
Shorebirds drink it,

not because they love
the world

but because
there’s a magnet in it.

Is that freedom,
this wandering?

There’s a forgotten
swing set submerged

in this sea. Young people who
once swayed on it still exist.

Salt, I float in it,
wanting to be held up.

From Coachella Elegy by Christian Gullette (Trio House Press, 2024). Copyright © 2024 Christian Gullette. Reprinted with the permission of the press.