Diego Enrique FloresZacatecas, Mexico

Let me count. Six, no.
Seven. Yea, seven.
Seven women, which means seven towns
I can never go to.
It's tough talking
about history but you have to try.
There's the train station where, one by one,
they left. There's the great engine
breathing Montana in and out
as it pumps the hard steel
of the rails. There's the hills
and the spaces between them.
What I remember
is how we all suffered in our own ways.
And the sound every one of them made,
each in a different river.
These days, with the wind much louder
than I remember, I think
of Rilke constantly and want to know those German springs
of which even one was too much for his blood.
I want to know
about trees, geraniums, and birds, but how
can you know anything
with all these rivers everywhere?
The earth never really changes.
What changes is how hard
we cleave to it.
How we let all the light
into our small mouths.
Look at the chickadee,
fighting the air, his large heart pushing
against his feathered chest.


Jackson Holbert