There is an undeveloped field—no tract homes but holes
for rabbits, rattlers, packrats.
Out of 365 days, we know 24 days of rain—life here
requires deep and extensive roots.
Developers wait until dark to topple and stack Joshua Trees. It isn’t impossible to wake to a whole world reduced to a small heap—morning reminds us.
This lot has been left new because of its proximity to the prison.
Across the road is the Institution—minimum and maximum security—male inmates.
I feel a snake at my feet.
You ask, Is everything ok?
Is ok. I say but shake like a rattle.
It doesn’t seem like night falling, so much as stars rising. Day and night weighed equally—the horizon vanishes and the prison lights shine like earth bound stars.
You light a cigarette. In the dark, I can see you breathing in the distance—a walking star.
We steal a shopping cart to gather objects left in the desert. We have one night to make an apocalyptic go-cart.
What else would we do? What’s left to do?
We collect what has been left behind by others. I find baby shoes and bullets—a full bucket of each.
You find a shanty town made of broken chairs and sticks.
In the dark, we imagine the worst—bullets in a baby’s foot—buckets full.
From the back of your truck, we watch the meteorite shower.
The sun goes up like a string-puppet. The chairs’ being is to speak—
“Air Show 2014;
we were board here.”
At the foot of the prison, people can watch without paying, fireworks. Independence Day, shots are fired at the sky while babies lose their shoes to snake holes.
This is not the end of the world, but its edge.
Photos by Marcelles Murdock
Words (and footnote photos) by Nicelle Davis
Apocalyptic Go-Cart by Kevin Swiney