two hundred years young
winter stripped you—
blond leaves blown
into the valley
you are a smooth one
bark slick as
winter’s icy lick
until you come
of green sheen
your white skin
the years in dark
streaks across your
i feel your weak
let my hot breath
make you flicker
a flame on our ridge
bury my purple
in your light
for Irán Garcia
Mi amor, if you ever find yourself in Utah, look for Pando.
He is a Trembling Giant of a man, a Quaking Aspen of a tree.
Trust me, guapo, he knows the way I love you, how I’d spread
myself across one hundred acres, y seis más if need be, just to
give you un bosque—forty thousand trunks bound by the same
root. He’s watched for eighty thousand years—before your god
walked this earth, before I buried mine in la tierra roja—how I
have waited for this lasting warmth, for the fires to stave off all
those skinny-ass conifers. My heart is that clonal colony queen,
all thirteen million pounds of him, so I’m heavy for you too, my
love. All the suckering that got us here, every trunk a new root,
every root a new stem—you always make us rise again & again.
But maybe, you shouldn’t go to Utah. Maybe seeing it there, all
old & heavy, tangled & coming out of the ground might just be
too real. They say the deer are too hungry, the bark beetles too
many, y root rot y cankers y lo demás. They say he’s dying. How
could such a trembling, quaking giant rise & spread from a single
seed, then go? When he hollows, we will watch him fall trunk by
trunk until we bury him with our gods. I will tell you I adore you,
& you will ask, Cuánto? Hear me from my roots: Mi amor, Pando.
Matty Layne Glasgow is the author of the poetry collection, deciduous qween, selected by Richard Blanco as the winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award and forthcoming from Red Hen Press in June 2019. His recent poems appear in or are forthcoming from the Missouri Review, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Poetry Daily, Collagist, BOAAT, Puerto del Sol,Nimrod, and elsewhere. Matty received his MFA in Creative Writing & Environment from Iowa State University and currently lives in Houston, Texas where he teaches with Writers in the Schools.