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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.

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