About the Feature

Photo by Srikanth Jandhyala

Light first enters the Sonoran Desert at Sinaloa. Wraps it
over the northern gulf where life includes endangered horned
lizards that can fit in the palm of one’s hand. Once plentiful in
North America, the species is threatened through predation by
domestic dogs and the displacement of compatible prey. Among
known understandings of Natural Life in the United States is
the sentence. As in, for the rest of one’s natural life, which,
unlike the sentence of Life, does not imply or otherwise allow
for the possibility of parole, which was anyway discontinued
within Arizona in 1993, when the possibility of parole was
replaced with that of release, a process which remains judicially
vague. Today, due to imprecise and/or incorrect language during
hearings that occurred after 1994, hundreds of people serve
time toward parole hearings that may never exist.

Insofar as a sentence is a set of words complete unto itself, every
sentence holds its conclusion. Its unique termination of a period
of time. Soft purple signals the end of night in southern Arizona,
against which cliffed mountains silhouette into view. Tree frogs
retreat in the depths of winter. Their bodies appear lifeless, as
do Gall Moths, which avoid internal freezing by emptying their

About the Author

Saretta Morgan is the author of the chapbooks Feeling Upon Arrival and room for a counter interior. Recent work can be found at Triple Canopy, the Academy of American Poets, and Best American Experimental Writing. She lives in Phoenix and is active in the humanitarian aid initiatives of No Mas Muertes.