No use denying: the hyphen in Arizona-me is here to stay.
The hyphen is not a mere punctuation mark. It signals both a proximity and a distance. The hyphen brings Arizona close to me but it also separates Arizona from me.
This hyphen-condition is there everyday: when I wake up until I fall asleep. It also inhabits my dreams as if to punctuate the gap. The hyphen is a fracture deep within my soul. It signifies that there was another me before Arizona. It reveals that this me in Arizona is still a very unstable condition.
Arizona is relentless, cold and scary. It is raw, brute and pretty much like its desert, it can dry you out like a raisin.
I lost my country for you, Arizona. I lost my family. I lost my friends. What do you give me in return? An unwanted ticket to an unwanted version of myself? The equation does not seem fair.