My love and I drive south

For seven minutes of darkness.

During solar eclipse, the sun proposes,

A sparkling rim and white-hot stone,

We drive for margaritas, the blue Pacific,

to make love when Orion rises,

belt low on his hips,

and hike date groves to a church,

where fruit bats hide in beams.

To sit silent in wooden pews, smooth with time and trousers,

and buy sugar dates in sacks from children.


First overnight at San Ysidro

A thin woman takes our money

At a trailer park.

Smiling open face like Buddha.

Cancer patients cross the border

for herbals and experimentals.

We pitch our tent.

At night, helicopters chop the air.

Beams illuminate people.

Our tent window reveals them.

They fly like birds, darting and hiding.

Wings flutter, movement.


A wooden cantina,

desert and dust.

We stop for totality

to stand in sand and heat.

The desert closes shop,

The wind rises and night falls.

Air cools, and the sky wraps us

in seven minutes, silent but soft

murmurs of strangers

in eclipse shades, sharing Corona beer

and penumbra, waiting for the diamond ring.

About the Author

Debra Groves Harman

Debra Groves Harman's memoir Dancing in Circles: An Expatriate in Cambodia is forthcoming in 2019. She's won awards for CNF with Oregon Writers Colony and Two Sisters Writing and Publishing. She lives in rural Oregon, and is a substitute teacher and musician.

Read more work by Debra Groves Harman.