Utah, Winter

I can't remember the year,
nor would I want to; this is a memory
that I would rather
keep mingled with hallucination.

We set forth, three of us, men (at least we thought we were),
eastward through California, mapless and sure.
This was the time we believed that
finding the world untouched
would make an untouched world.
There was beauty hidden somewhere.

For the first few days,
we felt that the smog in our lungs
was slowly dissolving into
the footprints we left behind.
Each step, we felt lighter.

In front of us were the Rockies.
Montani semper liberi,
I said. So, we trudged onward,
remembering that once over the mountains
we would be in flatland
and unhindered, unencumbered, and
untouchable.

The roads were spare, and the cities
were sparse, but this world was huge
and what better way to see it than
from the summit?

There was a moment past the Grand Tetons,
that the night blew in the bitterness
held by the moon,
bitter for the beauty of the world
to her will be forever bathed
in shadow,
and the breeze took with it
our flame.

The morning bared its crystal
clear teeth, and we were in the
middle of the Rockies,
tent, matches, and a week of rations.
There is very little that could have happened
that could be discerned from reality.
We remember tears, fangs, blood and sweat,
but after we found ourselves
naked and breathless
on our backs,
scratched and scathed
and sore,
we looked into the sky above us.

There, in the stars, was celerity.
The North Star shone from her perch and
pierced the mid-October air. It was
the moment we wished for.

The next day, they said goodbye,
I laid on the bare earth, feeling the
movement. It was here I would remain,
mistaken for the mountain.

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