When Rock Stars Die in the Desert

Dear Keni,

They haven’t solved your death. I think about you and your last breath.

The coroner doesn’t return my calls. No one speaks of your blood splattered on your paintings and walls.

Your dog is happy and with a friend. I have not forgotten you asked me to take her, just in case on me you could depend.

I should have taken her. That time was a blur. I was pregnant, and shocked and felt the stir.

Your ex-wife wrote about your love. It was all you wanted to hear, from earth and above.

I will write about you again. I will read, I will call, pray and pen. 

Goodnight, rock star,





Hour 4, Prompt 4

Panic Bop

Eyes open

Counting the hours

Hot flash

Mental whiplash

Grating nerves

My heart is going to pop.


(When the kids go away, my mind begins to fray)


Was it because their father left me?

Or because he tried to die?

Is it because the kids are so young?

Or because I still have to cry?

Is it the virus, the silence, the civil unrest?

Or is it because the milk just recently dried up in my chest?

There is no way to reason it away,

The paralysis and panic are here to stay.


(When the kids go away, my mind begins to fray)


Meditation and edibles went from one to four,

No sleep, no calm, I was still at war.

Beta Blockers, Xanax, bad TV

Kaiser Permanente gave me the key.

Now, my body can finally rest,

And nightmares become my new, revisiting pest.


(When the kids go away, my mind begins to fray)




Recipe for Unconditional Love

  1. Rescue dog from a shelter
  2. Foster dog (one, two or three)
  3. Pregnancy via your best friend
  4. California King bed
  5. Music

First, go to a high kill animal shelter. Select one or two dogs using heart and intuition.

Wait one year for dogs to decompress and feel secure in your home. Aromatherapy, dog beds, bully sticks and dog massage strongly encouraged. 

Contact a couple dog rescues. Apply to be a foster parent. Wait several weeks before you finally “foster fail”. 

Marinate in love for approximately 5-7 years.

Buy a California King bed before proceeding with recipe. Warning: This is absolutely necessary.

Get pregnant by your best friend. One time will do, I did it twice.

Surround bed with pillows.

Buy pet stairs leading up to bed.

Play music.

Sleep in.



Eat in bed.


Dream together.






She read to our class about rape and race,

More freckles than tears on her beautiful face.

She smiled and said reach out anytime,

A few months later, I did, when I felt my prime.

The kindness was gone, the smile dead.

Her rejection drilled through my heart and I bled.

I bought a pack of pills,

And drove to empty, paved hills.


I swallowed the words, the pills and pain,

Then the firefighters came.

Under fluorescent lights and tubes, I came through,

And to Joshua Tree, like a tumbleweed, I blew.

I never wrote her again, but her name pops up,

Her fame rises with each American cultural hiccup.

And I see those freckles in a different light,

She has already lost sight.

Greetings from Vita to Poetry Marathoners

Good Day! My name is Vita Lusty. I live in the desert of Coachella Valley, close to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree in the United States.  I am in the single mother of two very small girls, Beatrix and Miette.

My work is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, HuffPost, Medium among other small literary presses. I have not been able to write as much since my liberation from mother to single mother. The last three years were spent in deep meditation, survival mode and healing. The COVID-19 quarantine now affords me the time to write.  I usually write nonfiction but am eager to just write.

With the recent changes to life and lifestyle, I struggle to rest my mind and sleep. I am excited to drive this energy into a creative task. Maybe, after the marathon, I can finally sleep.