sang the Queen of Soul, back in the day.
Why am I so attracted to the desert’s blasted, the desiccated, the half dead?
The mistletoe hanging on for dear life to the tree no longer alive.
The juicy rind left behind.
Perhaps because in the tiniest organisms you see the pulse of life.
The exquisite crucifiction thorn. I’m taking some prickers home with me in my thigh.
Chuparosa just barely emerging.
The rare lush places where a javelina might bed down.
New growth out of blight.
A glint of a tag. Someone bothered to tell what this is.
Brown’s Ranch Trailhead was once Brown’s Ranch, you know. Brown’s Mountain a blunt force in the distance.
Stories so old they’re almost forgotten.
Saguaro skeletons litter the landscape.
Sloughed off skin. The ribs, once strong enough to hold up thousands of pounds of flesh.
Tough, ancient, tenacious seed pods.
And then, of course, the scatter of granite. Rock steady.
Volcanic outcroppings everywhere you look.
Solemn. Dull. Glittering, gorgeous.
Above it all a tiny, nameless twittering.
What are you? I don’t know. I can’t remember.
Just a stone.