The other night I saw with my own eyes a dragon eating the moon. It was the one night of the summer so far with no wind below but clearly there was some wind higher up in the sky, shifting pieces of torn clouds apart and together. At around ten o'clock at night, the moon is normally a little to the southwest, high above these roofs. That night the clouds clustered together into a dragon with the moon in its mouth. Gradually, the dragon swallowed the moon. Then it appeared to change into nothing more than pieces of clouds again, but dark, with no moon anywhere in the sky.
The dragon had a fierce mouth, wings and clawed feet. Its teeth were defined, large and sharp, I could count them, six. It was a mighty-looking creature, and when it vanished, the imprint of it continued. The sense of it remained strong throughout the sky.
A being like that must be alive somewhere.
Some piece of cloud up there continues to believe that it's a part of a dragon's wing or a dragon tongue licking at the moon, and maybe that cloud is over Bakersfield now in a kind of herringbone.
Planes fly past Farmington, so high up over the Four Corners that you only think you see them, but all you see are their vapor trails that vanish immediately. Maybe seven years ago I started believing that all planes headed west must land at Bakersfield, disgorge their passengers there, and turn around and head back eastward across the desert. Maybe it's because past Bakersfield, the desert changes into verdant valleys to the north and the Pacific Ocean west.
That red throat bird flying past in my backyard dreams of Bakersfield.
Those shivering leaves, the shaking purple cosmos with their long stems, those orange hyssops that only tremble now and then in the shady part of the grass all desert dreamers.