The Mojave-Colorado desert’s dry rasp is a godless goading,
the cracked cry of the Valley of Wonder.
It brushes against thigh, hip, and instep,
thin-lip kissing toes, elbows, nipples, and nose,
combing through hair,
insinuating itself—a hot habit—alongside the unseen.
This desert bedroom is like any other four-square with a mattress, yet he is sore afraid, tightly wound like a pocketed free-tailed bat about to wing. These whitewashed walls
close in on him as they encircle and embrace me. The dry rising sun winks and sings to us both through the cheap cotton curtains, casting rectangular bleached light on the particleboard door.
He is not a dog but a mouse, unsure of all that is, while the most certain sound I know enters our ears, the how-who of a mourning dove, pleading for a day, any day, as she surveys the flat expanse of wheat-colored sand that runs fast toward the sleepy Sheep Hole Mountains.