Dipodomys merriami

Merriam's kangaroo rat

Shelby Driscoll



Good midnight Arizona

and blackest Sonora.

It’s a dry rain and a sandy sand

between the creosotes,

because creosotes

don’t cluster.

Their poison-seeping roots

don’t share their area.

So it’s between

for this rat,

who eats what the rain smells like

and collects those old seeds,

beads like black eyes

in luxurious fur-lined cheeks

that don’t need drink agua.

Nor does this rat need coyotes

to usher its scampers,

and leaps, and tunnelings through.

Sweeping bristle-tipped trails

and leaps, oh leaps.

Between in the night, you leap.

Between in the night, you dig under the stars.

Between in the night you grate softly,

       sixteen toenails graze warmly the sand.

Between in the night you bound.

Between in the night you’re bound to this sand.





Shelby Driscoll grew up in Tucson, Arizona. She holds a creative writing degree from the University of Arizona. Her work has appeared in Nylon Magazine.