Liz N. Clift
Here, clonal colony of aspen yellows Utah,
standing united, heaviest
living organism, sending up new trunks
in galleries of sunshine
when old occupiers die.
We picnic on Delano's Peak
baby blue we can't afford,
spread on bread made with Montana wheat.
We're here because of ashes
and a '95 Chrysler Concorde,
because we didn't cross the salt flats
because there'd already been too many tears,
because chaos before us,
lead to me and to you, because we
don't believe in maps
that crisscross artificial veins
across this country as though big swathes
of nothing actually exist.
Maybe aspen quake in mourning,
because the entire colony knows
when one tree dies.
You pack cheese back into cooler,
then talk fractals and frost, tracing patterns
on my palm. I study lonely firs, green stamps
against yellow, surrounded
by something like family.
fiction poetry "fact" photography