Across the Way, the Links

The dying shudder of the Antelope Valley ‘quake
rattled Las Vegas in the interval
between first light and dawn.

In the time it took me to leave sleep
and stand in the doorframe of the La Quinta Inn,
in the time it took to realize

I was in public in undershorts
it was gone.

Isn’t that like a dream—
the examination hall full up,
every student clothed but me?

Sixty miles later, over breakfast
in the coffee shop attached
to the Peppermill Casino and Motel,

I watched the swag lamps in the corners,
sure I saw them sway..
Out the window in the desert

arcs of rain from sprinklers
fell, turning in the air to emeralds,
what other green than that,
a bludgeoning brightness, impossible as grass.