A long desert road runs straight
through black air broken
by constellations in the sky
and the light of isolation on Earth
where a few homes and a gas station have a name.
With the windows down and radio tuned
to a distant voice announcing the arrival
of visitors from another planet
the miles peel away from the wheels of a car
with far to travel. An insufferable heat
surrounded us and when it had passed
we were scarred and nobody believed we saw
what we saw. This is the promised land
where the Border Patrol is making a sweep
with vehicles whose eyes see in the dark.
The radio speaks quietly: A triangle
lit up the night and moved slowly
away. The passion for movement
never ends in the country between consciousness
and sleep where the aliens walk
in burning shoes.

David Chorlton came to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1978 after growing up in Manchester, England, and living for several years in Vienna, Austria. He has adjusted to the desert and come to love the landscapes and wildlife of the Southwest, which increasingly occupy his poetry. He will have a new collection published this year by Hoot 'n Waddle, a Phoenix based press: Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird. Read other articles by David.