Tasha Cotter is the author of the poetry collections Some Churches (Gold Wake Press, 2013), That Bird Your Heart (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and Girl in the Cave (Tree Light Books, 2016). Winner of the 2015 Delphi Poetry Series, her work has appeared in journals such as Contrary Magazine, NANO fiction, and Booth. A contributor to Women in Clothes (Blue Rider Press, 2014), The Poets on Growth Anthology (Math Paper Press, 2015), and the 2017 Poet's Market (Writer's Digest Books), she makes her home in Lexington, Kentucky where she works in higher education.
Disregard the glittering iced coffees, bought on the golden chain highway.
The world, back then, was hot. A hundred degrees by mid-afternoon,
you locked the pool. Locked the door. Took a wrong turn
toward Oakhurst and circled back. Pointed out the mule deer
eating what remained of the Nevada Blue-Eyed grass in what remained
of California in its four-year drought. Tuesday was Half Dome.
Wednesday was Mariposa Grove where a circle of Sequoias
stood in prayer deep in the sanctuary of Yosemite. This is the last thing
we’ll ever do together, you said. And so I defied the bucking yellow-
tinged landscape. Braved the white-hot mesas, and blistering heat.
We stood at Glacier Point, Curry Village at our feet.
I was thinking about the solar panels on the property, arranged
in careful tiers, the occasional square spectrum of black nests
on the ranch. How at first, I didn’t know what I’d been looking at.
I saw them and then I stopped seeing them. Days passed.
I thought they were bleachers. That’s what powers this place, you said.
The sunlight feeds the place we’ve been living in.
We stood there, our heads drifting to the blood orange horizon.
I want to be back on the light buff granite, staring down the side of a mountain.