We’re counting the days ’til we leave Missoula, we’re counting the does on the walk to and from campus, we’re counting the last cigarette. Not a catalogue, but a transmutation: the grace of numerology, the register of pain on a scale from one to ten. Szymaszek prepares us for potential encounters with wild cats, for the invasive friendliness of the local cashier, for the formative process of detailing that turns the merely adequate into something astonishing. We’re after a knowledge that can’t be known before knowing. We’re strength training in a new state.
THE WEATHER ON THE MOUNTAIN IS HOT
I can describe it better than the weather in my own
I wonder if my mother wasn’t alive
would my extended family see each other?
sometimes too much internal wind can create
tics like the one I get each December
in my eye
I just put it together the freak horn
it’s just as I thought
the loss of 2nd Ave.
has been hard
has been the way
to my heart I am composing
this in my head as we walk
we being you and me
the battalion of crickets at my feet
were they to carry anything other than their own rhythm
would be epidemic
a solo deer
and a wasp decimating a fly
on my sleeve
responsible for my own walks
and to a lesser extent
my own weather I sweat in my
vest that was perfectly comfortable 100 feet
too slowly when it’s not happening
October 7, 2018
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