The Salar de Uyuni Bolivia’s salt desert

by Victoria Livingstone

The December sky fills the salt flats with water
and the Earth becomes a mirror.  Flooding
blue erases the horizon even denser matter
can’t save the division.  Shifting clouds find constant
symmetry, mountains float in their own reflections.

A Japanese tourist rides his bike across the Salar,
drifts ecstatic until illusion disorients.
Burned by the sun, by the wind, by the ice
that’s really salt, his eyes give up.
When they find him, he is crying.

“Went without sunglasses!”  The natives say, knowing
human limits, and begin the work to reverse his blindness.
Junichi sits in a room of any color
but blue, listening gratefully to grounded
voices until he forgets that everything is sky.