Skull Valley, Arizona We’d hiked by the thicket all summer. The twisted brush, vines, tall grass, and an apple tree we kids thought wild. In the fall, after the wind knocked away the leaves and the rain started to plaster the grass to the earth, we ... Read more ».
Before First Light Not even the stars shine through the window when I awake – tilted from some surreal dreamscape. I reach into the emptiness beside me, think you’re in the bathroom. I stare into the darkness until the cat jumps on me. She kneads my chest. The purr ... Read more ».
Above the River My old Scout shudders to a stop in the emergency lane. My cousin and I stand with the hood up, on the breaks. The highway a mirage tributary shimmering down to the river. Cars and semis disappear into the heat waves, swallowed until they ... Read more ».
Blythe, California - Summer of 1981 Heat waves surrounded my ’62 Scout with a flat tire in the parking lot. We had less than a hundred miles to go to the mine east of Joshua Tree. My cousin shook his head ... Read more ».
L.A. Noir Their bodies lay downtown on the slab that is the L.A. River bed, twined together as if on a picnic or making out in their tent up on the bridge’s sidewalk. One of the urban campers, a guy whose face looked pecked apart ... Read more ».
When We Last Rode East We left in the dark, as dark as Los Angeles can be at 4am with the city lights, filtering through the smog and the marine layer ushered inland by the offshore breeze. You hung onto my waist. A warm ... Read more ».
The Days We Ran in the Desert We carried pebbles under our tongues as we ran. Our father told us They’d keep us safe from cottonmouth. Keep thirst from breaking our stride. We sweated down cattle trails and old dirt roads and became dehydrated dizzy and ... Read more ».
Terminal Velocity The bullet cracks when breaking the sound barrier. I've wondered about this. A barrier. A point where sound is left behind like kids running after a school bus. The bullet flies in silence, outpacing its own hummingbirds buzz - faster than the report of its departure. ... Read more ».
We, Brothers, We For my brothers Barefoot, we three boys run through, the desert playing at war. In our ragged jeans and bare-chested, brandishing mesquite branches for rifles, we appear a lost tribe, fighting the onslaught of the 20th century and not the modern army we imagine ourselves ... Read more ».
Venus in Retrograde The girls and I drive east, Sunrise like a creamsicle, spread only the way a desert can make it, edged between jagged mountains and the freezer blue of a sky, failing before day. The half-light ripples the frost on the dry ... Read more ».