We smoke with our backs to the wind, beat our fists
against the past, have stand-up sex
in the shower’s one-man stall. While the dog
shivers in the truck below deck, we camp
in the solarium, a night and a day
on the Matanuska ferry, then run along
the Skeena River in thermals and Extra-Tuffs,
the dog leaping snowdrifts to pee at every stop.
Beneath the ice-packed road
the ore contracts, we hear it screech
across the fault we travel. In heavy snow,
in studs and chains, we lose traction,
slide to the right down a left-leaning curve,
mountainside shearing to a fir-stippled valley.
A snowbank stops us, weeks of winter
bouldered up by the plow, forming
a wall that is softer than freefall,
harder than angels we sweep-shape
in white, waiting for a traveler to come along,
stray-stuck lovers stamped in snow.
The ground begins to hum—a grader
chugging upslope, a driver who winches us free.
We creep downhill, wheel tracks unspooling
imagined wounds behind us.
Jenifer Browne Lawrence is the author of One Hundred Steps from Shore. Awards include the Orlando Poetry Prize, the James Hearst Poetry Prize, Potomac Review’s poetry award, and a Washington State Artist Trust GAP grant. Recent work appears in Los Angeles Review, Narrative, North American Review, Rattle, and elsewhere. Jenifer lives in a small seaside community on Puget Sound, and is co-editor of Crab Creek Review.