By Talia Schuyler
My sister fills my father’s cup with ice
and places it in his right hand while his left
hand loosely grips the wheel.
That is his water,
the ice dissolves on the way to his lips.
In the backseat our white faces glow red
and the opened window makes our hair dance.
Our mini-van’s air-conditioner broke
this morning en route from Las Vegas
to home. Today we are confronted
with the desert heat
we boasted of but didn’t feel any longer
than a walk from the porch to the car.
We pass hazy fields and bare earth
on abandoned highways.
The dust that rises from the small, isolated towns
is palpable. It makes the land faded and drowsy
even under a spotless sky.