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.