Passing Capture

The corona is a studium of snow; bared boughs
               puncta of the upper slopes. Apposite of no-go

I’m in an old Corolla and els will have to stand in:
               cannot reach the crown of the high mystic hills

except in mind’s eye. They’ll stay mythic.
               And now I see the high rail—the el—and I’ve gone

scraping up a metropolis when I wanted only
               the image of distant snow on Mount Dean Stone.

And how is he, our friend down on the gulf coast. My home state
               distant. Last we heard the hurricane mist him.

He sent photos. Said just windy and wet.
               And how is he, no stone, down there.

And how am I up here. Home. Everywhere
               is an image I project myself onto

except myself, onto which I project everywhere. Namely
               here. Up here. And the transit, the distance

covered like the click of a shutter
               shuttling over the clack of tracks,

the in between, the taking in of
               what’s just out of reach.


Lauren Tess’s poetry appears or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Salamander, Nimrod, Meridian, Cimarron Review and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2021 Open Mouth Poetry Residency in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Lauren currently lives in Missoula as she pursues an MFA at the University of Montana.   WEB   TWITTER   INSTA