I went out to see the monster.
South, I journeyed, into the worn granite
Above the playas.
I did not find lizards
But, instead, felt the breeze
All night on my shoulders,
Lifted my shifting weight in sand,
Followed my boot prints farther
            Into stone
To smell the warm, dry ways of yucca.
I saw the silhouetted outline
Of a rock, frost-heaved and split,
In the shape of a hard
            Brittle blossom.
Berry-bent branches of junipers
Rustled in the soft breath
Of a wind that burned
My face while I sat sweating,
Breathing hard, and hot
Under vultures soaring
Beneath a rising sun.
Coyote barked a song
As the sky lightened, and the stars faded.
A sliver of moon
Clung to the hooked spine of the horizon.

I looked, attentive,
Listened as shadows hulked,
Turned bruise-blue and spread.
I walked in the new light,
Mesquite tore at my legs,
Discovered tail tracks and scat
In the quiet beauty of dawn.
The sun was already hot
When I stopped, again, to whisper
For what I had not found
But saw and smelled and heard
And felt instead.