And with it, hay weeds fold
over, long stalks thick with
spores. I think back on frost
melt, drip of snow cascading
down the cliff, the slow bodies
of bees circulating close to
ground. It’s like a sun, a planet,
a dream of rapture caught by
mice. Everything hurdling down,
through, out the door. Handprint
in the oven. Spit curdled on the
cheek. The question was never
about what I owed. Drive far
enough and you’ll find a pond
snake shaking dew from slime
moss, lilies upturned in prayer.
The past, west-facing bark of a
birch. When I reach, the shadows
cool my skin, the soil hollows. I
set the roots on fire, but they do
not spark. Is it enough that I
tried? I know it isn’t; I know it is.
Lauren Loftis is currently an MFA student at the University of Montana. Originally from Issaquah, Washington (a suburb that is known for holding a festival to celebrate the fact that salmon come home to die), she spends a lot of time thinking about rain, trees, and coyotes.