We Find the Mammoth Prints Off the Highway—Lynn Finger

where we stop to stretch & smoke. Road’s empty.
               Sun concedes day’s end, tree birds call & curdle
                              as if choked on their own blood. Prairie
wind moans, calls our names, entangles us in its

smell of dust & forgotten carcass. We wander from
               the car into the grassy verge & find the mammoth
                              path, with imprints of gigantic feet, like
swollen mud pies, blistered in stone. We see lithic hair

& teeth glued, half stuck in layers it did not cause. The
               mammoth’s monster bones sleep in granite waves.
                              “Be careful or you’ll turn into one,” you joke
& stomp out your cig. The moon is extinguished in inky

clouds. I want to run but cannot. Fifty yards from the car
               we harden as we stand, hammered by rising dead
                              ocean netted with old coral, stone cast anemones.
We petrify, fall. Blood surge in my ears, my last view is you

folded into pounding earth, drowned in bridled slabs.
               I too go under. They find the car next morning, but
                              don’t know we joined the dead, lost in a bed
of crystalled hair, encrusted eyelash, arms crossed on our chests,

mouths open in impossible scream.

Lynn Finger’s poetry has appeared in Night Music Journal, Ekphrastic Review, MineralLitMag, Feral, and is forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys, Thimble and 8Poems. Lynn is an editor at Harpy Hybrid Review, and also works with a group that mentors writers in prison.

photo by Christopher Alvarenga (via unsplash)