A territory of mysteries hidden in plain sight. Planes mistaken for stars, stars mistaken for planes, and the unidentifieds in between. The northern vortexes, abandoned mines. The unseen greenery of a mesa. Coyotes, many kinds.

A territory of impossible contrasts. Mountains and canyons. High and low desert. Air-conditioning and triple-digit heat. Golf courses whose irrigation systems recycle so much water, but still not enough. Xerophiles and xeriscaping. So very dry, that is until the monsoons come. Maybe the most glaring, the most impossible of these contrasts is the 368-mile border along the territory’s southern border that keeps trying and failing to prove contrasts exist at all.

This is because Arizona is a territory of competing histories. The glass and concrete of military installations alongside the indigenous adobe. Arizona, an anglicization of the Spanish Arizonac, itself a romanización of an O’odham word, alĭ ṣonak, meaning “small spring,” which is perhaps another definition of aridity. A territory that likes to remember it was once a territory, outlaw as long as it’s convenient. At convenience stores they sell sheriff stars and Zuni fetishes on the same rack.

Is this a vision of our future? The only way to survive the heat is through technology that has yet to be invented or ancient means that have nearly been forgotten.

Issue III will be published in November.