The church at the mouth of the hollow says we can cut down the mountains because God will come again and make them new.
In Sunday school I ask what we’re supposed to do when the mountains are all dust and rubble?
The teacher says God will provide for the faithful.
After squalls fill the hollow
I fear the light, which has nearly folded its purple into laurel,
will splinter on a porcupine’s orange teeth as it rakes the white ribs of a dead coyote,
vibration sending the tiny bones in my inner ear to search for less brittle
sound in the horns of water ice curls behind mid-stream rocks
or the places where deer
melt snow to the oval shape of their heat.
Noah Davis’s manuscript Of This River was selected by George Ella Lyon for the 2019 Wheelbarrow Emerging Poet Book Prize from Michigan State University’s Center for Poetry. It is now available, and includes these poems. Noah’s poems and prose have appeared in The Sun, Best New Poets,Orion, North American Review, River Teeth, Sou’wester, and Chautauqua, among others. He earned an MFA from Indiana University and now lives with his wife, Nikea, in Missoula, Montana.