poem: western montana

my mother birthed me into stranger places — the mountains shorn
and shot up, as if I
there, was one of them: too-big blue sky fit like a salt-block
into my open mouth, deer-
and oxen-child. if I had been born into a city, the masturbatory smoke and
skyscrapers cut up around me, think — what a little demon
I could have made, instead I have the odd, unfitted
shapes of country bridges, roads, the far wavering
and American cry of the west, fitted inside; the reach of the sky, coming
down like a mother to lick the hills, green and green
and frothing, sometimes laid out like cats in the sun, under a new
thunderstorm, half the air turned violet and shaking,
and my face all upturned, waiting.

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