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(d)Evolution: dry. heat.
i'm not expecting to grow flowers in a desert
the soft thud of cactus limbs as they fall to earth—
spirits leaving spiny bodies.
the air is dense as granite,
scented with decay
a handful of raindrops hover between heaven and earth
the sky swallows them before they land
in this heat, even the moon struggles to appear
and when i peer beyond the sliver
in the absence of light, i feel
that tug. that tidal pull. the longing—i hear
the roaring flux of water in jagged dreams
this desert, once an ocean—
where, like rain, even a mirage is a memory
I am fortunate to inhabit two worlds: a Maine island and the Arizona desert. On my brief August return to Phoenix, during the 147-day streak without rain, during the record-breaking 54 days of 110◦ F (43◦ C) or above, during the waterless days so hot beehives were melting, I snapped these photos. I am saddened at the wreckage; at the endless construction as this heat island expands and shimmers, ready to burst.
If the mighty saguaro—the camel of the southwest desert—cannot outlive this drought, how, then, can we?
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