points west

Some days,

I miss the hinterlands

some days

when the inland rains

don’t let up

and the gators

have snapped at the

last golfer on the course

in West Palm Beach

and the biggest python snake

in the world has been captured

in Kendall —

swimming in the pool

of a famous – but now

disgraced athlete

and the most informed

newscaster in the nation

has rushed to

Miami Beach

to report on the latest

scandal involving

some pseudo-politician

…it is then

…(and only then)

that I long for the plain pine bench

in the birch grove

on the shore of

some Lake Woe-be-gone

six miles southwest of Hibbing

…the one we used to sit on

when we were both nineteen years old

and we would both look west

far past Fargo, and Bismark,

…not stopping there…

on past Missoula and Couer d’ Alene

raising a toast to the setting sun

believing that it held the answer

to a tough question

that neither of us dared to ask

both of us thinking that if we

could just

watch it drop below

the horizon

on Venice Beach –

– just one single time

that our lives would change