When the desert light strikes

The light is what stays with you,
an unearthly brightness that slams
eyelids shut with hot ferocity.
Leaves a fiery burn-in that lingers,
dissolves to pale yellow, turns black.

But your eyes are quickly seduced to see;
the light coaxes them open, squint by squint,
to an eye-slitting brilliance: white-hot
and smarting. But you have to keep looking

And when the balance shifts,
when your pinprick pupils widen
the unfocused shapes become familiar:
shrubs and mountains and the road ahead.

But they are not familiar at all:
Sand shifts into hundreds of shades
of pink and grey and brown. The highway
ripples and glints like a silver river.
And there has never been a clearer sky:
depthless and infinite and warm.

2 thoughts on “When the desert light strikes

  1. jumpingpolarbear says:

    Want to cruise that highway with a classic convertible :).

  2. […] I wrote about the light in the California desert. There is a positivity to it that my writing often lacks. I guess I must be feeling […]

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