Descent into LA
There are mountains of sand, a dry river bed,
glacier-ribbons lining snow-topped beige, small
outcroppings of farms in narrow valleys.
Desert frames square and rectangle plots
of dappled hues—olive, straw, brick. And more
mountains, whipped egg-white, and places
with names—Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Salt Sea.
Tilting west, mountains shift into blue distances
of shadow without depth. A turquoise lake, outlined
by empty earth. No human-built structures here,
then in ten minutes we behold LA,
where everything is smog and ocean.