Alvord Desert Stars

Flat on our backs, warm in our double bag 
beneath the Alvord Desert's lavish dome, 
we tune to nearby dune and distant crag, 
the sounds of all who call this landscape home:
The flap of bats, the whir of great horned owls, 
the slithering of skinks and rattlesnakes, 
the scritch and scratch of scuttling voles, 
the howls and yips a pack of skulking coyotes makes. 
Invited here to celebrate the night 
swayed by the music of the spheres, the play 
of Pleiades, we sate our appetite 
for space by swallowing the Milky Way. 
Who but two groupies camped in sand and sage 
would know the password to the door backstage?

[First published in Steens Mountain Sunrise: Poems of the Northern Great Basin]