The road ribbons through barren fields of

windswept bushes and leafless trees we can

no longer see. I open the window – the desert

air is cold without the sun – and taste the

amber scent of burning mesquite. Black sky

turns blue. Color seeps into the land. There

are no boundaries here in border country

nothing to catch the roses and pinks, the lilacs

and gilded golds. Winter-bright hues of spring

flowers and dyed eggs nestled within neon green

plastic grass. I take one, yellow as the noon

sun, roll it under my palm. The shell shatters

beneath my hand. Prying back a shard of color

I am confronted by smooth white blankness

like the crackled glaze of a porcelain vase whose

patina of lines signal not flaws but perfection

Whether I am cracked or craquelure depends

on the day. The pain within me burns red

feeding the fire of its own malignancy. Pick at

my scarred shell: darkness weeps out, staining

the horizon like a bruise that never ends. The

desert is cold when there is no sun