Fenix, Aridzoné


Desert Sumi-e.



 Fenix, Aridzoné 

The Town That Shouldn’t Be There. 

Nothing should be here.
This isn’t a hostile environment. It’s homicidal. Everything is the color of too bright.
The sky is a predator.
This is the kind of weather that tastes like hate.

If Phoenix had it’s way it would kill you.

Unless you’re covered with scales, have a heart that beats maybe once a week or your glands are filled with venom, you don’t belong here.
Unless you’re covered in thorns, sport razor sharp spikes or only bloom once a century, you don’t belong here.

You don’t belong here if you aren’t equipped with claws that can scrape and burrow into the hard earth,
If you can’t stew in the dark all day while the menace of the sun scrapes across the brutal sky,

If your blood runs warm in your veins, Phoenix will boil it.
You don’t belong here.

If you’re human, you don’t belong here.

But Phoenix is here and it shouldn’t be. And it’s angry about it.

There’s anger rising in waves off the griddle of an Indian School Road intersection. Anger bakes in the parched gravel lawns of Apache Junction,
Festers in the shadows cast by the bleached metal bleachers of Thunderbird Raceway. Anger is etched into the squint of every skort clad trophy wife trolling the air conditioned aisles of Camelback mall.

Anger sweats in the neck creases of a Mexican flicking raven’s nests out of the top of a date palm in triple digit heat.

In Phoenix it is high noon all day.

But you are a human.
You live in a stucco chamber with cottage cheese ceilings and mini blinds.
The air conditioned air you breathe is so fake it smells like a Botox injection feels. You go outside.
Bad idea.
There have been reports of Spontaneous Evaporation.
You realize you’re next.

You spit in disgust. At the sky
At the hate
At yourself.

And it dries in the air before hitting the skillet of the sidewalk. You retreat to your cave just before your hands turn to claws.

Then comes sundown.
A hot gust breathes across the parking lots like an exhale from hell. And it’s as if the desert, embarrassed by its sadism, blushes.
And the purple comes.
And the lavender.
And the gold.
And a fuchsia glow coats everything in an iridescent dusk.
And it is beautiful.

And then the shadows unfurl.
And the snakes uncurl.
And the greasy armored bugs the size of compact cars take their nocturnal migrations. And the skeletal foxes hunt house pets on the outskirts.
And everyone,
The desperate brokers,
The car wash illegals,
The closeted golf lesbian housewives,
The frostee sipping BMX bike punks draped on the video vending machines in front of every 7-11,
The spleen spewing radio “personalities” lying wide eyed in their beds,
Every animal,
Every living thing,
Dreads dawn.

People don’t live in Phoenix. They char.


 Summer, Phoenix, Arizona, 2012.


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