The highway sign read
Indio and other desert cities
as if they were already an addendum
to a Biblical catastrophe
The sky became naked, merciless
The highway narrowed, lost lanes
Loneliness became a cosmic affair
By a railroad graveyard,
the date farms die, the houses sit unfinished
and the noise overwhelms the signal at last
A man, maybe not old, but ill-used,
bicycled over to beg a dollar
from the only other man for miles
outside his car or home
The dollar, he said, was for a Corona
to shelter him from the stars,
distant mountains and blind eyes of cars—
His eyes black as snakeholes
under a baseball hat, he let a silence hang
over the man with a dollar, who shrugged,
got in his car and moved along

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