Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Letter to Wyoming

We are friends now, Wyoming, so I feel I can be honest. I thought you were a loser when we first met. You were lonely and vengeful with your wind, your plains like cold, empty bed sheets tucked into snow covered mountains, polka-dotted with ungulates and dead towns.
But then on that coldest day – do you remember? - we boiled water and threw it in the crisp air and it turned to snowflakes and I started to fall for you.
In the dead towns, I met cowboys with their throats wrapped in silk wild rags and on roads where you can drive fast I found steely skies that stretched out into impossible horizons. At the Hobo hot springs I met a man that looked like a Viking, and in the forest I prospected for gold in the glacial streams, and on a ranch I fished snakes out of a canal, and in the mountains I traced petroglyphs with my finger, and everywhere I watched trains trudge across landscapes in endless caravans, and I met people with faces open as the land, soft-spoken as the ready snow, with belt buckles big as the sky.
I ran my hands against your thick seems of coal in the Basin, too, and I have not forgotten your white outs that made it seem like the world was made of cold cotton candy. Also, I’m still not sure about these loud souped-up trucks, dear, and I remember Matthew Shepard and my landlord, who thought I had an attitude problem because she couldn’t pronounce my name. Sometimes, too, the loneliness and the starkness still reign.
This isn’t goodbye, Wyoming. This isn’t a proposition of any sort. I sunned yesterday on granite slabs in a field of blue columbines and now it is September, which means snow, and I feel alright about that. I thought I would let you know just that. That you’re alright, dear.