An Interracial American Family
Visits the UFO Watchtower

The entrance to the rock lined garden reads:
There are two vortexes spinning just east
of the gift shop of the San Luis Valley UFO Watchtower.
On this incredible point 25 psychics have agreed.

The sign further instructs visitors to leave
a token of their deepest desire or special need
for the two spirit Guardians, also verified, whose power
is such to manifest our material or spiritual greed.

I reminded our girls of the sign’s caution not to steal
other people’s tokens: bad, bad karmic seeds!
We studied piles of desperate offerings about an hour—
mostly purse or car floor junk people didn’t need.

Coins, plastic flotsam standing in for lack, for you and me,
products of this century’s throw-away carrot economy,
the empty successes on which we’ve only slightly soured
after months of lockdown, protests, relentless screens.

Bored by random piles, I closed my eyes to tune in, feel.
No psychic—I felt nothing, only wind and dry heat.
I climbed stairs to search sky, chagrined to be a downer
on the whole UFO-alien-vortex tourist scene. Saw nothing.

It’s possible, I admit, and several loved ones believe,
and even I honor Tibetan Buddhist alien-looking deities,
but truth be told, I would likely run, piss or cower
in an alien’s presence. I actually pray to never meet

one in my lifetime. I feel at home on Earth, terrestrially
satisfied with distant stars, mountains, rushing streams.
Regardless, the earnest owner of the UFO Watchtower
in the middle of this salty, dark-sky desert needs to eat.

My generous husband shopped gleefully, bought every
type of tourist trinket but a hat: t-shirt, alien-head earrings,
alien magnet, tie-dyed life-sized alien blow-up pool doll, our
own his & her alien print socks, alien heart coffee

cup offered at a discount price for slight printing
smudges, post card, two Gumby-alien bendable green
dolls, painted alien-faced rocks. Gifts for his daughters.
Unmasked, we drove home, clutching inalienable dreams.


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