When we moved out here
to the high desert, almost three
years ago, the first thing
many of our Houston friends asked
was what there was to do here.
We had already told them
the town had neither a shopping mall
nor even a Walmart, and that
the nearest commercial airport
was a two-hour drive to our north.
They were shocked, breathless
in the frenzy of their own stir-
craziness. Every time I tried
to address their concern, words
unraveled like smoke in the wind.
I knew they’d never understand
we settled out here for nothing
but Mother Desert; for sundowns
vivid as a set of crushed crayons;
for the deer, blue quail, hummingbirds
and javelina sharing the cenizo-
studded acre of our lot; and finally
for the vibrant social life
teeming in the reaches of our psyches
relishing the priceless gift
of the fresh-aired, clear-skied,
and mild-weathered ubiquity
of an isolation so perfected
its silence is a scream.