Equinox Siesta
by David Lee

A mirage is the desert dreaming about the ocean who used to live here.
—Baucis Rojas
The desert yawns and sprawls,
laden with sky,
flecked red on gold

the memory of snuffed starlight,
its belly shimmering
a Monet canvas

Warm air
over the cool sand
lifts a small cloud

in the sun-slick sky, its shadow,
like Beethoven changing moods,
shoves its way along

A quivering mirage
pushes light up the mesas
through shadows
hiding in flutes
into sky

where it glistens the air
like scattered jewels
seen through a mirror

A suspended horizon
pretends to rise above imagination,
a breaching narwhale
above this out of place sand and stone landscape
up for the bright air

delicate and fragile as the memory of spindrift
clinging to a bare strand of light,
tethers the dissolving cloud tatter
to the blue crevice of mesa wall

In the bajada
clefts of tangled basalt
like fallen moon shards,

a wind riven salt dome
still as the scar
of a dried river

Light and time
pool in stone basins
beneath the sky

mimicking the stillness
a coyote snuffs
and knows as death

A cactus wren calls
through air thin as dream,

scent of juniper
thick as blood

A beardtongue nods with the weight
of a pollendrunk bee

The old sun rolls
the earth turns in half-light