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Contents Page: April 1, 2011, vol 7 no 1

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Ray Rasmussen


Desert Conversations

I've retreated from the heat into a sandstone alcove containing a thousand year old Anasazi dwelling. South facing overhangs were selected for shade from summer's high sun.

Jetliners pass across the cloudless sky. The Anasazi might have thought of them as noisy silver birds. I imagine a crush of people, knees jammed, bodies cramped between armrests, the clamor of small talk, the pale flicker of TV screens. The planes race on toward their destinations and there's a return to silence.

Handprints, made by dipping hands in white mud, are pressed into the wall above the doorway. In the shadowed light, they float ghostlike. If the print-makers could speak, they might be saying We too were here.

Beyond this shelter there's an empty expanse lit by a bloom of yellow-flowered Rabbitbrush. A raven glides by to investigate the newcomer in his domain, emits several raspy croaks, as if talking to me.

My last conversation was with friends who left a week ago. Too soon, I'll drive north to a crowded city. Not soon enough, I'll see family and friends.

daydreams ...
the crisscross
of contrails


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