We dreamt once

in unison,

the wind beating the fence

surrounding the giant intaglios, where

you told me there was nowhere to step

anymore, that the whole

desert started miraging as a geoglyph.


And what was lost

before by time

or destruction returned


in the form of a man etched

on the desert floor,

and you chose

two lucky stones to take home

to remember the black desert—

the Area of Critical Environmental Concern

you read about on the placard that pictured

where we stood

from space.


Driving back home,

saguaros peaking the freeway

beside legions of stucco houses

like a popup book


you turned to say maybe we should still have kids,

and I said maybe the desert would last to greet them.



Blyth, California, November 2020


Author: Jessica McDermott

Jessica McDermott is place-based nature writer and a fifth-generation Idahoan. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Idaho in 2016. Along with writing poetry and personal essays, she has published articles on environmental and political issues. She lives in Southern California.

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