the lodgepoles are distant from each other, too
The ceramic black Labrador rests
by the electric fireplace—bone
perpetually placed between paws,
head cocked to the side. On cold nights
he would come alive and nuzzle under.
The perspiring windows contorted
the crisp cedar pines topped with whipped cream,
sour cream, vanilla frosting. I was
rearranging puzzle pieces of a red rock
canyon and forcing together
pieces of my own
because the smell of pine and elk meat
in the kitchen meant that my organs
were drifting apart. Maybe my insides
needed some distance, too. The antlers
on the wall were mottled, so was my skin.
The dog is staring half-hearted at my empty hands.