Before Dawn By Sandlight / G. E. Schwartz 

Desert skies are worth watching. Yes,

For the weather-wise: some look to graphs

And charts, calculate, show us shawled

(Doppler Radar) expanses from up out-

Side of it. But they look up too, noticing

Like us this blond overcast. (See how

The Joshua trees are stretched, waiting

In long trust, even in thirst. Desert skies

Are worth watching for all who are or will

Be soloing there. Pilots in the early days

Untamed as condors sweep, exulted in

Air currents, in those colonnades and

Those towers, were given utterly to that 

Sun-riven spaciousness. What might

Emerge today beyond the road’s length

Of overcast stretches when eyes, lowered

Down, when light passes through tow

Layers of air with different temperatures–

Those mirages–shimmer, for day on day.

And just now, with sun coming up, lighting

The backdrop, ruffling a stray nimbus cloud,

And all this space a proscenium with promise

Of action, curtain going up. Desert skies

Are worth watching.

G. E. Schwartz is the author of Only Others Are (Legible Press), Murmurations (Foothills Press), Thinking in Tongues (Hank’s Loose Gravel Press), WORLD (Furniture Press), ODD FISH (Argotist Editions), & The Very Light We Reach For (Legible Press). He lives in Upstate New York, United States.

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