I came to the desert for a home.
Upon arrival I make my way to a small
real estate office to meet with a man
in his mid-fifties, a self-described “land pirate.”
We drive in his open Jeep far into the mesa to a
low tan-colored ranch house, the front
door busted in, crossed with caution tape
and a stern letter from the FBI.
Beyond a row of sage brush I notice
a large container half buried in the sand.
Walking out to it I find the dugout entrance
and peer inside to see rows of empty plant beds.
I think about my grandmother’s house,
a 3-story “colonial” outside of Boston,
with a rose garden dotted with her hand-built
ceramic memorials to the saints.
I am fighting the urge to want that kind of beauty.
Choosing instead to join this dusty tribe of
calloused sailors of the dirt and heat. I am
contemplating how to grow roses, underground.