Here is where it will all begin. It was once stardust. Now it is earth stuff. Ground-down rock, dried-up life, brown, down there underfoot. Elsewhere it’s paved over or covered in gravel and brick. The land gets layered with landscaping. In my own backyard, the plot that is mine (that I rent) is neglected. I live at the semiarid meeting of the Basin and Range region and the Great Plains, about three miles east of the Rio Grande where it trickles through Albuquerque’s city blocks. The dirt seems… dead.