Everywhere is the same is what I want to say when my friends
gush over the mountains in Boulder. It’s the same Oakley-wearing
motherfuckers at some other rooftop bar, the same oil refinery
an hour outside the city geysering flames into black smoke for miles
from the romantic construction of flutes, metallic chutes and ladders.
Jo’s getting married in two weeks and we’re celebrating. I can feel
the inside of my nose now contains several painful ravines from days
in the dryness here. The thin air forced from those very same mountains.
It only gets worse on the plane home. The slightest twitch instigates a nosebleed.
There, in the mirror with 1-ply toilet paper in my already desiccated nostril,
face swollen from drinking, ulcers on my gums from drinking, from lack
of sleep to do more drinking, from time with friends, is when I begin to feel left
behind. This body I’ve abused since we last touched can’t still be the same body
you’d desire. Surely this abdomen sloshing with turbulence and cocktails won’t still
one day carry our child. Surely this face couldn’t possibly be the face you’d hold.
At my seat I try to fit my forehead into the curve of the airplane windowsill to sleep.
We are flying over Oklahoma, I can tell. My home-state is flat, the dirt is red,
and resembles very little of Colorado topographically. Just the same large and small
squares of ownership, like everywhere else. The tallest formations by the highway
are the telephone wire pylons, ever changing in perspective as you speed past them
in your car. There were never any prehistoric tectonic dramas to create ranges.
But I know the pump jacks are milling up and down there peacefully, at least
on the surface. They reserve their violence for those layers of earth invisible to us.