Three days of dust

We arrived into a hailstorm at the Bozeman airport

shouting directions through the ping-pang

pounds of rain and shreds of lightning

spat from an electric black sky

as we skidded around roundabouts

with lazy windshield wipers


Three days of dust

we rode, windows down

engine heat blasting through the defrost vents

The chugging of the long-stick gear shift traded rhythm

with distorted blues guitar riffs through blown-out speakers

All else was lost to the sounds of wind


The landscape rich with bright gold and impossible indigo

I reached for my sunglasses and realized

that I was already wearing them


My lungs ached from the dirt

My heart reinstated by the gratitude of strangers

I felt confident in my talents

That doesn’t happen often enough


The clear nights were filled with billions of stars

I created constellations in my mind of kites and conch shells

But the Big Dipper was still king

even amongst all the glitter


I could hear the distant moaning of cattle

floating through the valley

Over the fast-rushing Yellowstone

reminding me that I am still swimming upstream