Straight from the Deeps of Stanley
The Sawtooths’ jutting spikes, batholithic rock,
cut and bend the wind like scissors curling ribbon.
The stark, hard quick of their beauty calls,
and I am twenty-four again, when Idaho first
unfolded its simmering heart to me—cobalt plumes
of sky, silver lakes, whorls of glittering stars.
I drank deep from this cup. I baptized myself
in hot springs fogged by stiff night air.
Nine seasons of returning, renewing, summer revival.
Then thirty-three years of exile. A seismic shock.
No fault, no blame. A crack, a fissure. A continental divide.
This reunion is slate-bottomed cumulus bright
with muted lightning. Idaho peels back my skin,
opens me like a fish pulled straight from the deeps
of Stanley, the Sawtooths’ giant escarpments peering down,
wading in, doubled. They break across
the silver-saged valley. They clamber up
my spine, pierce me with the barbs of their crown.
Their perfection abides in the dark heart of a blazing
sun, their shadow a veil catching on my step.
Annette Sisson lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, dog, and hens. She is Professor of English at Belmont University. When not grading papers, she bakes, hikes, supports theater, watches birds at the feeders, reads, writes, plays piano. 2019 Pubs: Rockvale Review, Nashville Review, Passager. Forthcoming: Blue Mountain Review. Chapbook,A Casting Off (Finishing Line, 2019). 2019 Awards: The Porch and Passager. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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