Proximity

There is an undeveloped field—no tract homes but holes

for rabbits, rattlers, packrats.

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A graveyard for broken appliances and flat tires—birds build nests in these abandoned round doors.

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Out of 365 days, we know 24 days of rain—life here

requires deep and extensive roots.

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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.

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This lot has been left new because of its proximity to the prison.

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Across the road is the Institution—minimum and maximum security—male inmates.

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I feel a snake at my feet.
You ask, Is everything ok?
Is ok. I say but shake like a rattle.

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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.

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You light a cigarette. In the dark, I can see you breathing in the distance—a walking star.

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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?

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We collect what has been left behind by others. I find baby shoes and bullets—a full bucket of each.

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You find a shanty town made of broken chairs and sticks.

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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.

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The sun goes up like a string-puppet. The chairs’ being is to speak—

“Air Show 2014;

we were board here.”

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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.

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This is not the end of the world, but its edge.

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Footnotes

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Photos by Marcelles Murdock

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Words (and footnote photos) by Nicelle Davis

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Apocalyptic Go-Cart by Kevin Swiney