Image from NASA's "Earth Observatory" site, 2014. Click here to download a high resolution image (from NASA)


"While flying over the border between M[é]xico and the United States, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station photographed these sister cities on the R[í]o Grande. The image shows the second largest metropolitan area (population 2.7 million people) on the M[é]xico-U.S. border. The centers of El Paso and Ciudad Ju[á]rez (image top right) lie close together on opposite sides of the [Río Bravo/]R[í]o Grande, and large residential areas cover the arid slopes in the rest of the scene. The river crosses the entire image as a prominent line and acts as the international border.... The name El Paso refers to a pass or gap in the mountains cut by the [Río Bravo/]R[í]o Grande (known as the Rio Bravo del Norte in Mexico). "  

Text excerpted from NASA's "Earth Observatory." Part of the above serves as one of a pair of quotes introducing the collection For Want of Water: and other poems. (Accents and text in brackets added to the original.)