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I have been staring at the Rockies for the past 5 days.

The sun shines brightly and the breezes blow lightly until the whistling winds and snowy nights arrive.

I have been counting the hawks (3) and the elk (~100) and the mountain bluebirds (a handful) and the antelope (25) and the prairie dogs (too many to count) and the lone porcupine waiting to cross the road.

The fire crackles each evening while the sun sets. Park County glows and then sneaks into the shadows.

I have been counting the cars. Four seems like too many.

Threemile Mountain issues a challenge. Sticky bushes tug on my jeans and pull at my hips. The empty cave may have housed a bear or a mountain lion. Hawk number 4 floats overhead at the peak.

I have been trying to count the mountains – the ones with snow caps and the ones without – but it’s easier to count liquor stores. Two in Hartsel, population 677 in 2000.

The snow finally melts into a rutted, muddy road that takes us to Salida’s distillery with a dog and to Fairplay’s bowling alley with Dorothy’s Tamales inside and to Guffey’s Bull Moose Restaurant, but that one is closed for vacation.

I have been trying to imagine the High Plains in summertime, and I have been trying not to forget the inky nights full of stars I failed to count.

The mountains rise and rise. It is amazing anyone ever made it past them.

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Future vs Present

I love love love having things to look forward to, and the biggest disappointments are the plans that are cancelled.

Does this keep me from the now?

Never Google a man
you’ve only gone on 1 date with
because it will just solidify
your pitiful dream that
he is the one
when you find that the beginning of his doctoral dissertation
begins with a quote from Raymond Carver:
     It ought to make us feel ashamed when we talk like we know what we’re talking      about when we talk about love.
You will have fallen too hard
and will regret this for too long
and will stay up too late imagining.

Forgetting

i am planning to fly to tel aviv to forget about a man
i am planning to watch a documentary about war to forget about a man
i am planning to practice yoga tonight to forget about a man
i am planning to take a long shower to forget about a man
i am planning to write until i can’t stop to forget about a man
i am planning to hide away in a cabin in colorado to forget about a man
i am planning to go to a hockey game to forget about a man
i am planning to sit at my desk and make this list until i forget about a man
i am planning to eat all the guacamole i just made to forget about a man
i am planning to fill up the free hours in my schedule to forget about a man
i am planning to plan 6 new online dates to forget about a man
i am planning to wear more mascara and blush to forget about a man
i am planning to text 3 people i don’t want to hear from to forget about a man
i am planning to watch the water boil while i forget about a man
i am planning to leave comments on blogs until i forget about a man
i am planning to rage about sexual injustices to forget about a man
i am planning to nap at 4 pm every day to forget about a man
i am planning to buy myself some frilly underwear to forget about a man

It’s dark across my town and your town
with the cold creeping under our doors
and ice forming on the car windshields by morning.
I check on you from a hidden place far away
to make sure you are fine,
but I only find you happier than before
while everything’s in pieces around you.
Could you come around when you’re all right?
Could you sometimes miss the hand you held?
Could you think of me when you think of love?
Could you someday know what I have felt?

My mountain men

St. Louis to Laramie
Frederick to Managua
Sonnets about ex-lovers and soap made carefully by hand and photographs of the west and ink drawings scribbled at midnight
Names they gave me from the start
Their wild beards hiding the smirks and smiles
Mountains we fell in love with when we saw them drenched in morning sun
The Milky Way
Long hikes to places we hadn’t seen
Lateness and always too-lateness
Dreams that keep them near while far
St. Louis to Laramie
Frederick to Managua

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you have cellulite on the back of your legs 
that haven’t been shaved in 4 days
and at age 26, you have lost the allure 
of your barely legal years
but not the acne that accompanies it
and you probably won’t go on a date
for another 8 months at least
 
but it doesn’t matter 
because now you can
shavasana like a champ
and virabhadrasana with the best of them
and chaturanga until the end of time
while the lotus on your head continues to bloom
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