• I sink my feet into the sand of my home
    grains rubbing against my surgery scar
    and my ankles are always the part that starts sweating first

    Growing up in a desert gives one a peculiar view of life

    As children we would run wildly through the scrub
    soles hardened to the searing heat and stickers
    catching things that could kill us and wondering why Mother panicked

    I've held things delicate and deadly with these fingers

    Half the animals were endangered
    The other half were simply dangerous
    and we were made equal with them under the wild washlight sun

    The dunes went on forever;
    I was too small to see the mountains

    Years later I remember sitting on the street outside a bar in New Orleans
    newfound friends asking me how I can stand
    wearing full length jeans in one hundred degree weather

    When I tell them that the water droplets in the air coming off the Gulf
    feel stranger to me than the heat
    they give me odd looks and move away

    How do you explain the Mojave to someone from New Jersey?