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 is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications online and in print, and often reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. A recent collection of poems is Bird on a Wire from Presa Press, and The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant. A new book, Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird, is out from Hoot ‘n Waddle, based in Phoenix. Read other articles by David.