The Deserted

Under an unforgiving sun.

front point in anza borrego desert state park

Broken white lines follow interstate miles home through the valley of the sun. Before it sets, bring the telescope. Look for Jupiter and let Mars rise above a Mesa into Phoenix until they are each a distant glow in the mirror and dream of rising again. And Joshua trees keep watch. To think they guard us as we fall into ghosts of former towns from when we knew them, still living, still ours and still––

someone stands after forty miles of nothing under a tarp in the place where a porch would be and there is no way not to wonder if the waiting of so many at such distance might be stretching. Something tight like Achilles’ unblessed tendon still reaching–– 

––for the water that crossed us once a sacred chord ready to play until it pleased the long-haired keeper of the secret ways we dreamed, even if.

All the while, to anyone who asked, most of us were good enough to protest protection, saying instead, just let it. Come. We said with straight faces, meaning to mean the words.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

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