The Desert
by Shaun DeGraff

It's 3:46am as I find myself staring up at the small lonely ranch at the outer brim of Las Vegas.
I've reached the end of the city now and the beginning of what most people call the "nuclear wasteland", "hells gate", "the city of sin", but more commonly known as "The Desert".
But humbly and quietly after all is said and done and the sweltering heat fades away and the nighttime awakens, the desert transforms itself into the most mysterious and breathtaking landscapes I have ever seen in my lifetime.
I continue to walk outward from the diminishing light of the last streetlamp and into the darkness lit only by the solace of the full desert moon smiling down on me.
As my eyes adjust I ponder the reasoning behind the fascination with the moon and decide upon the fact that it is to life what Johnny Cash is to music.
Kind of like the guiding light on the dark side.
The assigned nightwatchman to make sure we all make it through our most vulnerable state as humans.
Not an easy task and definitely thankless.
I don't know maybe that's why I have so much respect for it.
The chill in the air has arrived to awaken my mind from the summer slumber it has succumb to for five months now.
In the distance, I can hear a wolf letting his pack know that he has found food.
Wolves have survived many many years by sticking together but now face extinction by way of man.
I wonder what's coming next to wipe us humans out?
I turn around to face the city lights only to stumble upon a painfully humorous vision of the tall steeples of the Mormon temple and the neon vomit and the secret infidelity of the Las Vegas strip in one dismal birds eye view.
Almighty is the bling bling in the city that never sleeps as stretch marks lace outwardly from the epicenter from overgrowth.
Why am I here?
I mean, every logical thought propels my body into the mountains driving some yellow jeep with big bouncy tires, wind billowing through my hair, and fuzzy sweater, entering into the town called "100% caucasia".
A nice comfortable secure little world but, the desert is in my blood I can feel it. These are my roots.
Who knows where my life's journey will take me but one thing is for sure.
I will never forget the times I spent talking to the moon,

here in the desert.