Our ghost bones hollow in the stringed light;

her fears, undead and slow in the morning

after the morning she told me she felt burnt.


From up here, every glint a penny, smoke 

pouring as we’re told it does, pulled to go 

anywhere but here, the old Western impulse.


Like driving through Iowa at night the sea could be 

anywhere, everywhere; and trees. In the 1980s,

museums let go of thousands of birds, a spilling open


of their collections, with the advent of DNA-dating.

Now there are rules, I suppose. Made to be broken,

I tell my students. A wildfire of Atlantic salmon spread 


into the Sound. A potential devastation; deforestation. 

Blame the rusting tide. Blame the sun behind moon. 

Nobody to shoulder when the coastline buckles under. 


When every day for a week, Blue Angels rip the air outside 

my window. The smoke, spilled milk on everything. Elegy

of green, deepest blue. The maps can’t be believed, the land


has chicken pox. Terrible constellation, pockmarked 

and flaring. Animals wandering down, “let the wild ones

pass through.” I left a bucket of water out for. You must


be confused, fires can burn for quite some time. Caught

in their roots. Caught in my roots, I’m turned around

again. Reef netters begin to hoist the horizon, rising but not so slow.


Colin Walker is a poet from the Pacific Northwest. He is a recent graduate from the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan.