Broken Adobe Under a Bald Star

A straight road cuts through
a hundred and fifty miles of desert.

It smells like heated rubber and oil.
The desert smells like sage.

City people require a long time
to grow accustom to the desert emptiness.

Especially the lack of pervasive sound.
Emptiness has its own sound.

Often that sound is buzzing insects
like deer flies.

The road-janitors come through
once a week

to clean the dead off the asphalt
and the side of the road.

The dead account for much
of the new buzzing.

Some people I meet think
the desert heat will melt their fat

so it runs like grease dripping from meat
on a grill and into the flames.

The straight road exists for the power lines
that carry electricity

from the coal plant, solar arrays
and wind farms

as modernization takes its place
in the desert.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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