I allowed myself to be drawn,
like an unwitting child following the distant call of the ice cream truck,
to this place I did not want to be.
Every crevice of this unforgiving territory
is bathed in the intimacy of familiarity:
the dark, warm hollows that offer their dubious shelter and
the golden hills scraped bare in the glare of a pitiless sun.
I could embrace my solitude here, carry on companionless,
and no thing would stand in my way.
But wild things make their presence known–
they drop their feathers from the vault of the sky,
leave pathways through the thickets choking the ground
that lead to arroyos secos I myself could never hope to find.
They warn me of that which I must not forget:
There is no surviving here,
for the land is not unkind, but neither is it forgiving.