Each grey tree
a sharpened claw to gouge the sun,
every wall of the mountains a brittle
and black paycheck.
The bears rendezvous
in the dumpster, snouts stuffed
in carry-out, and they don’t close
their eyes anymore.
The elk departed
in the road, too sudden to avoid,
is pummeled by tentative tires
and feverish tears.
Somewhere in the gnarled roots
of the ponderosa pines,
there lies the Fountain of Youth
and someone has pissed in it.
Elijah Rokos is an English major. He enjoys tea, gardening, and reading.