FRATNEY MILLER | MADISON, WI
Are you haunting me, Wyoming?
like a long-ago dream, or a lover lost
That rich voice, like garden soil
or the rumble of big skies;
that breath of sweetness,
inhaled, never a kiss;
that dizzying Great Plains petrichor;
searching your landscape for an invisible mountain range of scars;
drifting through your rivers’ depths;
drinking your shadows, at the bottom of the night.
Countless buds of questions, to blossom on my tongue in a springtime that can’t come.
Do you satisfy your women?
Do you circumcise your sons?
Do you hold deep stone-locked grudges,
or does your punishing weather stay with you?
How deep are your lakes, and how safe are your islands?
And where is it these trains are going, singing those siren-songs?
Can you ever know you’ve saved me?
Can I ever pay you back?
Take me apart – limb by limb and line by line.
Take everything I have, and give me only what you will;
a sigh like a long drive in an old truck, broad hand on my knee;
a gaze bright like wild fruit,
or new buttons on an old dress;
or maybe a letter full of nothing but night,
whose postmark says more than the world’s words.