Mountains surround and alliterate: snow
stubborn on the southern slopes. Men wade
into the lake, talking to cutthroats. Imagine
a buggy whip free of indenture. Long lines
change above them—shaping an esset,
borrowing from Miró—each punctuated
by mythology: nymphs and bound feathers.
In time, each man will walk backwards.
Envy changes with the altitude,
palmetto bugs, anopheles—black flies
at this height. The men will become beacons
of heat, sing in the beak. They will trade
tales and platelets. Fires form pentagrams
as they sleep. The whisper of tied flies,
the sharps of stars. Pines regret their
indiscretions. A glacier snaps like take two.
Jeffery Bahr lives and works in Colorado as a software engineering consultant. His manuscript Anabasis was a finalist for the Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award. His work has appeared in Chelsea, Court Green, Pleiades, and Verse.