Sparse vegetation in the gypsum dunes of White Sands National Monument: photo by Daniel Schwen, 4 April 2004
The somnambulist is asking the moon what it is doing up in the sky, a white hole in the deep eternal blue, so early in the morning.
The moon says nothing. The day passes, and then again, flung up over it, the great sky canopy: millions of mutely witnessing desert stars. That part of the story never changes. It comes on swiftly yet stealthily, in the same way it does every night.
Lingering in the tall grass, a deceptive sense of animal presence. A buzzing sound.
The mountains of quartz and broken glass appear to tremble, mirage-like, filling the air with a distant shimmer.
Ciudad Juárez at dusk looking west toward Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe: photo by Daniel Schwen, 3 April 2004
All the houses in this border town, and all the dreams dreamt inside these houses, become identical when darkness falls over the desert.
He remembers again: I always dream the same dream at the same time.
The somnambulist walks through the sagebrush beyond the edge of the border town, then back again; darkness of the arroyo; time passing; gravel crackling under foot, then silence.
Military personnel at White Sands National Monument: photo by Daniel Schwen, 4 April 2004