Peter Davis  2005 All Rights Reserved

Montana

I.

Montana, I wanted to say, Montana,
you are futile and beautiful
or was it you are futile in your beauty?

But I open my mouth on the dark train
and my words shake out all over like little salts.
Someone should say something like

look there through the fast train’s window
passing west. Look. That’s me looking out
at the bones of a town. On Skeleton Avenue

Go Tigers! someone has enthusiastically painted in red
on the front of their house. Yes, go, Tigers, and
take the little pretty ones and make them into stars.

Teach them to hunt the higher plains,
the steppes of breaking fists in wind.
Teach us all to be civilized warriors again.

II.

Montana, in all my dreams, is wind, is void,
is a videogame I cannot defeat. Montana,
my little brothers know the button patterns

to your secret codes, ways you send
the scending sun away, but I know your
Montana heart is America

and it has two small veins like lanes
and it has eyes of widow and it has
sky falling dark and it has here a wolf

there a wolf and it has world’s largest moon
I see before us it has parts and particles
bleeding back to the place of fire.

Unghost town, empty attic of America,
space of hard longing.

III.

Sharp Cutbank, bright Whitefish,
what will become of us?

Montana— 1 2 3
4 5 6 —Montana, I can still see you.

Last night my soul smelled
only of fire, but

this morning I think
a bit Montana.

Beginning to think:
the pilgrimage

is more important
than the pilgrim

or that the holy place
is holy only because Montana.

So for the weeping pilgrim
bleeding inside

is no less natural
than at the knees.

And so for me and you,
Montana, we keep growing

all these abiding memories
we cannot hide.

David Krump
Copyright 2005

 

David Krump’s poetry most recently appeared or is forthcoming in a handful of publications, among them: Astropoetica, Chiron Review, Colorado Review, Blue Fifth Review, Rio, Touchstone, and Unlikely 2.0. He has sneaked away with a few awards for poetry, including a 2005 writer’s residency at Caldera. His chapbook, Night is a Good Child, received the 2005 Florence Kahn Memorial Award. He will attend the Masters of Studies in Creative Writing program at Oxford this fall, unless his girlfriend breaks up with him again for twelve hours, in which case he thinks maybe he’ll become a hobosexual, that’s right, he means hobo.


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