The desert climbs East
into the watermelon mountains,
Offering its cactus flowers to boulders
that crumble like croutons into the mouth of the old canyon.
The foothills are dirty plates scrubbed by night winds
to be reused day after day.
Below is a city that drinks from the water table.
That invisible wet tongue that sucks seeds and pushes
Juniper, Beargrass, and Apache Plume through its teeth
and into the brown world.
In Albuquerque, the desert’s dry lips are sealed
with concrete, Costcos, and buses that run on time.
The sun has cracked the sidewalks of East Central Avenue
and the people are split wide open.
They stand in parking lots refusing to blink.
Shade is a blind spot.
The thing to do is
shout into every car that passes with an open window.
Shout as loud as you can.