I rode the bus from Boise to Missoula.
It stopped in Pendleton, of course,
for the two-in-the-morning
turn around of drivers and new faces
and new air coming in and out of
the door. Twenty two hours of the most
out of the way navigation that breaks
my heart in half to think about waking up
to large stretched out distances of eastern
Oregon and Washington. I know my places, so I knew
I was getting close as the western larches
gathered together along I-90 just outside of Spokane.
The Selkirks appear, and dark blue on green appears
and the interstate binds and hugs the sub ranges.
I rode the bus from Boise to Missoula
only to take a plane to Billings.
You were taking an osteoporosis study
and asked me to come, so I did. We took
the highway from the Greyhound station to MSO.
We flew in a twin-turboprop commuter plane.
I sat near the window, near the propeller and
it sliced my sight-line as I stared out and
thought I felt the Gulf of Mexico.
I held your hand as the descent proved terrifying
and the sun pressed tight on my temple.
When we found our hotel,
I wanted to hold the Rimrocks.
We were on the other side of the Great Divide,
and I knew from the sigh I set free, from the shadows
and the way the rain smelled that summer night as we came
back from dinner. Really, it wasn't those things that told
me this at all, but I know it, now, like language, like Chinook winds
and the way that larches tell me I'm almost there.