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Alexander Hollins

IF? The desert. The sand and soil, held together by caliche and the delicate roots of a hundred different plants, winding through it. Water is scarce, and valuable, and I can feel every pocket of it. I feel the thick roots of trees that look dead, waiting for moment to green up and bloom. I feel the burrows of the hopping mice, the air trapped inside redolent with their own breath, humidity so high that the seeds they store soak it up like sponges. I feel the creek that trickles a dozen feet underground, where water has flowed, quietly, for a thousand years, a meandering oasis that keeps alive plants, bugs, animals.

At night, my sands reach freezing, what little moisture is in the air condensing, getting absorbed, only to steam out again as the sun’s fresh rays beat angrily down on the shattered quartz and granite.

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