Mom made us matching guidebooks to Alaska, 
    copied, bound in a Kinkos 
        in the Valley on a school day.
We have made it. The frontier.
    Rented car & Day Four:
        Mom hides out in a Kodiak

internet café, dashes off missives 
    to RootBeer, secret boyfriend,
         former country-music DJ.

RootBeer is not yet a known threat
    to our family. We drive through Denali, 
        denial. I listen only & wholly
to Barenaked Ladies, press play,
    play, play. I pretend it hardly matters 
        our father refuses our rotation 

of sitting backseat. The only male, 
    he is perpetually the assumptive 
        shotgun. I am fourteen. Life just now grows

its big tits of unfair. We are here in Alaska
    on a ten-day car trip. 
        In six months, she’ll admit the affair.

In a year he’ll sign off on divorce.
    I’ll stay a virgin three years after that
        but here in Alaska 

is the first place men see me, 
    see my breasts orbiting within
            my galaxy of skin.
My body’s the eventual 
    swirling Milky Way. When a stranger 
        in flannel blows a kiss on the highway, 

I press one nipple to the window 
        of our rented Ford Escape. 
            My family drives three hours

to stare at black worms trapped in glaciers. 
    We come back at twilight & walk in pairs: girls
        & grown-ups on the dock. 

Between salmon dead 
    & salmon dying, Mom
        holds our father’s hand in the light.

It’s midnight & I notice 
    men & women everywhere
        flip a universe for cock.