Graffiti Rock --- Guest Post by Arden Hunter

I knew you were a part of my tribe

she said, blowing smoke over my face like a benediction

I turned and trailed the pads of my fingers over divots calling from the past

stylised camels and scorpions gazed at me unimpressed by my awe and my interest

I saw your tongue ring and your tattoos and I thought, she can ride in my car

she stubbed it out on the floor adding to the confetti of trash wreathing the rocks

the ancient images were defined only in millimetres of difference

as ancient hands had prised away the dark skin of boulders baked by the sun

I think we’ll become good friends over time, I think we’ll really get along

she winked then casually perused the pictures, boredom settling into her skin

only a few twisted lines for each animal, each insect, revealed in sandy contrasts

yet we all knew at first sight what we were seeing, what was seen back then and now

not very good, is it? I mean, I was expecting more

she huffed at my lack of reaction, my continued exploration, unmoved

let me know when you’re ready to go, I can take you home

a frown between brows that would smooth out soon enough, not standing the test of time

I’m a transient thing, I wanted to say

no anchor in the desert

don’t moor yourself against my shores

they are treacherous and shifting

a transient thing that sails through the sands

too slowly for you to gather

yet after the storms can disappear

shrouded in dunes and in shadows

I connected more with those eyeless beasts staring out unseeing, aflame

silent witnesses of human connection

across flesh

across time

set in stone

I connected more with the sun on my skin and the sand in my eyes

than I ever will with you

Arden Hunter is an aroace agender writer, artist and performer. With an eclectic range of interests from the horrific to the whimsical, the theme tying all of their work together is an inexplicable and unconditional love of the ridiculous beast that is called 'human'. Arden has words and art hosted by Farther from the Trees, The Bear Creek Gazette and Half Empty Magazine, among other places. Find them on Twitter @hunterarden - they love chatting to readers and creators.