Beyond the little siphon-creek
with its pond of tadpoles and swaying
grasses, where we called our dogs back
from sniffing into reeking damps,
we climbed through mesa-
country; took an unmarked washboard
road. Platitudes of all our travels:
go invisible as wind; camp on the edge
of no place with a name; pack up at dawn
and leave no trace, not even fire-pit ashes.
That night it snowed.
Hyakutake parked above us, shining
its comet headlight down from a blacktop
sky spitting flaky white.
After midnight, a ghost-girl
stumbled into my dream and slumped
so cold against the tent, I let her
have my sleeping bag. Our dogs snored
At first-light I called
them from their own night visitations.
Gear stowed in the truck, we drove
back out over washboard.
Abundant time to determine
which way next. Another of our
platitudes: take the slow route
that doesn’t show on a map; try to see
what nobody thought to mention.
© by Taylor Graham.
Used with the author’s permission.