Sawtooth Mountains, 2017 – Allison Campbell

You sit and I am ungrounded.
My mind so much looser than your snowpack
that resists late July’s stubborn abundance,
what can you tell me? Your spiked ridges scrape the sky
like reverse lightning. I’m done talking about my husband
until I can think of what to do better than love him despite,
despite, despite. The first star, or planet, visible
on the horizon, high above your reach.
The star looks silly beside you,
or it, as stand-in for the cosmos, is the only
thing capable of making you seem small.
I’m waiting for the moon to rise, and put everything
into perspective. Me, small to you, the star so much larger
but looking small, despite the science. And it’s how I see
the problems, my problems, now planetary in scale,
now a fleck of light floating and looking flickable,
insignificant. I was surprised to learn
the earth is a lopsided body. For some reason,
I thought space made things perfect. That everything
rounded out in the end. The light has really dropped
and the pines make thick lace. I hear bird call and car engine.
My grandmother never flew. She taught me to say the Rosary
and I fell in love with the smooth texture of each bead, a peace from
the links of rough metal that made the space between.
She loved the Smokies—yet there were so many places
she has never been.

Allison CampbellAllison Campbell is the author of the prose poetry collection Encyclopédie of the Common & Encompassing (Kore Press, 2016). Her work has appeared in such places as Copper Nickel, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Witness, and Rattle. She lives in New Orleans.