American Desert Dweller

George Moore




The curve of the earth is like a bone at the horizon,

the tongue of the stratosphere licks it sand rough,


and riding the bike at eighty you sense

the desert does not boil the blood but filters it through air


and wind, where fossils in stones return me to the inland sea.

I ride down out of Page toward Lee’s Ferry,


a red strip of highway, color of arterial blood,

ride to forget while in effect remembering all of it.


Everything to the eye is first knowledge.

Separated out of the world at birth we seek to be reborn into it


on the wind edge of a speed no natural creature knows.

The deeper vibrations of the desert are between the bike and bones,


a music played on the rudimentary instruments of being.

The sands at last light write of the earth’s beginning.




George Moore's poetry collections include The Hermits of Dingle (FutureCycle Press, 2013), and Children's Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry, 2015). Nominated recently for Pushcart Prizes and The Rhysling Award, Moore has also been a finalist for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Award, The Anhinga Poetry Prize, and the Wolfson Award. His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, North American Review, Colorado Review, Antigonish Review and elsewhere. He presently lives with his wife, the Canadian poet, Tammy Armstrong, on the south shore of Nova Scotia.