Desert Traveling

I am a cousin of the American deserts;
  I visited them every year—driving
  with my family, the freeways stretching out…
  Time and distance lull and soothe and soon
  the hypnotic suggestion of the road arises, and then
  the Kingdoms of desert appear
  —California, Nevada, Arizona…

When I was a child, my family pilgrimaged
  to my grandparents’ at least once a year;
  a return to Mecca or simply spawning upstream
  for my parents, but they had no idea…
  …the majesty of this alien world we’d
  hurtle through in the night.
  I could feel the cold pulse along the station wagon window
  could feel the bite of the desert night as I shut off
  my Walkman and pressed my hands against the window
  until I slept…

I half-dreamed wolves that wander the sands
  snakes beneath rocks, skins shed in the sun
  and the mysterious origin of bleached animal bones
  dignified by dirt and sunlight and time.
  All these things and more I learned
  over the hundreds of hours of riding, of driving.
  An anarchy of nothing rules dirt like ocean
  rules water, or rather, I remember a different order:
  one of weather-worn rock and childhood mirages,
  one of silence and vast mystery.