Dew Point

The taxi driver, careening out of the Palm Springs Airport,
blames the humidity on 50,000 swimming pools and watered lawns
few of them here when you grew up

In your parent’s desert home, familiar smells remain
the sweet dust of your mother’s face powder
the stale breath of your father’s Pendleton shirt worn so many winters


We change the sheets on the double bed and make love

For three days, we discard
toss out your mother’s shopping lists that go back years
on all of them she’d written, “Buy Socks!”

Bank statements as old as expired medicines in the bathroom cabinet
newspaper clippings of your father’s career inhumed in a desk drawer

In the saffron evenings we walk
you point out delicate smoke trees, spiny ocotillo
yellow flowers of the Palo Verde

The nest of the cactus wren holds nothing extraneous
and fits precisely into the prickly arms of the deerhorn cholla

After the last box is sealed, the empty rooms echo
Outside, we sit under a yellow bulb and drink beer
while the humid air is cooled into dewy stars
that fall silently throughout the night
to rest on the desert floor
and rise again in the morning with the sublime young sun