July 2006/Volume Seven/Issue Two
Delorne Hatcher
Turning Left at Cotopaxi Colorado

From Westcliffe on motorcycle with a high mountain sun,
stretching cotton into clouds, I turn left at Cotopaxi.
I capture weekend rock climbers, those bright flies
swarmed on canyon walls. I tickle them, and they fall
into my hand. I stuff them into my leather saddlebags,
leaving room for the wet-booted fly fishermen.
I use a whole roll of paper towels to cushion their heads.

We all cough behind the prison bus.

Take your inmates for a spin around Godís garden,
then box them back up with a wire bow. Make them
watch snow, from the mountainís toes. Flush a steel toilet,
and pretend you can hear the Arkansas River running alongside you.

My bikeís twin fat pipes, encourage boulders to give up their ghosts
and let go of their mountain view. Twenty specters, all dead men
from the Civilian Conservation Corps, stop the boulders with their shoulders
pushed in hard, looking like Iwo Jima raising the flag under Gibbs Peak.

I rest on the river's shoulder, unbuckle my bags and set them all free.
Hand to the throttle, my back tire smokes. I draw a snake with a fat
rubber line onto the road; the waterís necklace of asphalt and stone.
I am running alongside the Arkansas.