She’s heard whispers of cousins who were born
from branches, from leaves
from soils full of treasured minerals.
The thought makes her climb down the spines to the molten sand,
dip in her hand
and bring a scoop of those yellow granules to her eyes,
wondering if they are bland
because they already used up their nutrients
forming her cactus mother,
or if there never were any
and she is either miracle or curse.