THE LAST CHEATER'S WALTZ
Beauty and Violence in the Desert Southwest
By Ellen Meloy
Henry Holt & Co., New York (1999)
1997 Whiting Writer's Award Recipient
Any day, any time, I would without complaint travel seventy miles to see a claret cup cactus in bloom. The quest would not arise from botanical interest, from some sort of dead butterfly impaling, snake pickling, tweedy naturalist curiosity. If you must know, I seek the claret cup---Echinocereus triglochidiatu, member of the hedgehog cactus family, also called strawberry cactus---for sadomasochistic pleasure.
~From The Last Cheater's Waltz