When the mountains said come, he left.
I took it personally; I shouldn’t. After all,

he sent all the words and pictures back to me—
Grand Teton, Big Sky, Devil’s Tower—as if to say

wish you were here. But he didn’t. When
he said: I was up the Cheney place, drinking

by the bonfire, I heard: I was drinking with
Mephistopheles. Nights in Hell are cold.

And when he said: Old Dick waved his arms and said—
‘I love castrating a bull. Feels like you’re making a thing.’

I said to myself: You can acclimate to any weather.
How dare you leave me here on earth?

And when he said: I knew right then that Cheney fellow
was the craziest sonofabitch I’d ever met

all I could think of was Cheney’s steady
reach into the body, emerging with its fruit

tight and tender as peaches, how he cupped each gingerly
in his hands, blood-syrup running hot—glistening.