Lake Effect, Volume 26: "Self-Portrait"

Self-Portrait with the State of Idaho Receding in My Rear-view Mirror

By Lance Larsen

Few of my faults will shake the world.
I too am landlocked and wish
I had a navy. My caves drip with dark
knowing. My arches have fallen,
my swamps gather the strangest of birds.
Estuaries? Got ’em. Hot spots
and sinkholes? Too many to count.
My Lost River lips the sky then slips
underground and simmers in secret
give or take an ice age. If only
all my boundaries were straight,
if only they didn’t squiggle like snakes.
Ain’t no one nohow gonna lift me
by my panhandle. At night I fill with tales
of Bigfoot sightings and old gold.
At first light animal sadness seeps in,
like mist, and sometimes stays.
My craters resemble the moon.
Beyond this point, no motorized vehicles.
Beyond this point, take off your shoes.
My horizons? Keep squinting.
One day Sacagawea will return
from the north and settle me down.
My badlands were once bedrock.
I have wild places not even God
has visited. People I love keep passing
through on their way to somewhere else.