Lake Tahoe: California Side, Nevada Side

  1. Driving east where snow would fall,
  2. I am trying to keep us
  3. awake. Skunks are spraying mercilessly.
  4. A mountain lion killed a hometown girl not thirty
  5. miles from here. I was meant for somebody else.
  6. There are bad flags at all the truck stops.
  7. Right now, midwinter, a midwinter’s sun on my face;
  8. right now, history notwithstanding, butch passersby
  9. notwithstanding; right now, I will be naked in a hotel
  10. with wood-paneled walls, a buck head at check-in.
  11. The silk of my sweater is cruel, we’re gasping for air.
  12. If you had suggested that I had been kidnapped,
  13. that I was here against what will I have left,
  14. that it isn’t really me you’re fucking,
  15. the sheets not stained with either of us,
  16. that we win every penny back we thought vanished
  17. in a distressing thick of smoke;
  18. if you had told me that you know I hate
  19. hiking, all-you-can-eat, the smell of silk,
  20. I would not have entered the teepee we stumbled upon,
  21. littered with our kind of wrapper,
  22. I would not have entered this would-be adventure
  23. already spent, my hands gripping guidebooks
  24. to other cities, where animals are leashed or caged,
  25. where you could not find or follow.