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  • R. Gurley

Desert Dawn

I wake before dawn in the desert. My window faces east, a front row seat for why I am here. The black mountains outlined with the first fuchsia hue. The sky morphs into a variety more hues, reds, goldens, oranges, blues, like indigenous blankets being shaken out by the women who made them with the dyes nature gave them.



I have returned to this place after being away for a decade. I am now middle age. I think of myself a decade ago, such a kid, so much she needed to go through. I watch the sky. I listen to the only two things I want to hear, the wind and the breath of my terrier, Mick. I once wanted it all, now I just want simplicity, a place where I can warm my bones besides a fire.

I inhale the desert air, clean from a recent rain. I exhale every place I have been since I left. There have been things I have learned on my way back. I’ll get to all that.


My eyes return to the horizon which the sun has fixed in full view, the desert, a place where everything gets exposed, my home. Mick’s tail beats the bed. He is one that keeps time here and, according to him, it’s time to take a walk.

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