still, the west

a month before town is

swallowed in slow

business the river swells to

the cottonwoods a woman

says don’t come

home too late



still, the west

every iteration of blue missing in

the solemn weather a house

fire erases into prairie sky



still, the west

alpine gusts out of

the south over Mummy Pass

we keep nailing tin

to the roof


late runoff


time beneath the Lyon’s Sandstone

bringing cottonwood to sprig

and my ear to the eddies

men pass in trucks

cast spinners in the holding lake

I hold a cigarette in my teeth

the way you do a floodplain

meadow in your eye

words for it in your throat

the blackbirds croak each

day as the river rises


David Mucklow was born and raised north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He has an MFA from Colorado State University, and his work has been published in wildness, Weekly Gramma, Iron Horse Literary Review, and elsewhere.