Car Camping Outside Livingston, MT

Kate Garcia

We lay there rigid and calculating how best to siphon
heat from the dog’s febrile little body. My feet have been sacrificed
to a frenzied cold.            Hours

earlier we’d played cribbage and drank beers and faced West
into a coiled pool of fruit sap settling          tethers
between earth and elsewhere pulling inward becoming taught. I wished I hadn’t said

that thing about you not being so affectionate
lately because the silence unmoored me.
Now I have to pee.

I shift my stiff body forward released from
a suffocation of duvet and sleep smells          toward the car door
rocking with the weather. Dropping down onto the wet earth is like

being born into a static chasm          sharp soil polyps
tattooing the bottom of my bare feet.             The space between
body and sod all choked up.

The plain is dusted blue black and grey          Southward
mountains are blackhole shadow beacons                backlit slices
cut from felted clouds.

Crouched down naked from waist to ankles I look out
into the pall of dead grass          endless and unburdened
by trees, rocks, anything. The wind burrows down my eardrums

waking me from the belly outward.            I wonder if you ever think about
when we lived in that big Portland house together          the
one with two beds – we followed each other

back and forth all night long. I wonder what you think about.
You are a product of light          that is a product of darkness.
I stand up       redress       lean against the solitary metal beast.

Kate Garcia is a poet and waitress from Southern California. She spent six years loving and crying and eating in Portland, Oregon before heading to Missoula as an MFA candidate at the University of Montana.

Originally published in Moss: Volume Six.

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