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desert diaries

there is a flowing light, a numinous beauty,
that brightens and stills everything around me
its gaze holds for a moment, then opens up something,
incommunicable, eternal, anchoring

in this city, everything is exaggerated. it’s monsoon season, dizzying humidity (even silk and air conditioning isn’t enough for me), and every other evening, the 17-years-asleep cicadas singing in the rosewood shade tree, the one that so very kindly casts its shadow on my burning concrete balcony, are silenced only by the rumbling sounds of another approaching thunderstorm. we are forewarned.

could i slip away, quiet? keep myself as a secret? a long drive in the desert …

it will all arrive, soon enough. sweeping 60mph winds, southerly, gathering waves or a wall of dust, to rain down upon, or near-suffocate, all of us. lightning will split the sky in a dozen places all at once, and i’ll draw back the blinds, fill the kettle, light a candle, carefully position the most comfortable cushion on the cold and cracking white-tiled floor, and watch. even the neon will dim, the palms will bend, maybe even break, and the freeway will slow to a crawl.

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