Danielle Beazer Dubrasky

Hollow Bones

Symphony of the American West by Gregor Perušek

Before oversized dry wall homes shadowed the western hills,
before Genpak sank its humming industrial pillars into gypsum soil,

haunting town houses built just beyond the factory lights,
I used to watch storms darken Three Peaks, facing the wind

that blew veils over volcanic domes, ranch lands, sage brush
to where I stood on the edge of lava rocks, calling your name to the valley

as if the current could send it to where you slept on the other side of the country,
drowning in buses and rain, before I returned home to music that replayed

our walk on South Street in Philly—another city we shared.
On the morning I heard you had died, I drove to those hills

in mid-January, steered over rutted roads to an old shooting range.
She rested on the tallest boulder—a large red-tailed hawk—

didn’t move except to shift her head when I clicked the car door shut
and walked close as she would let me. I surveyed the snow-fields, ranches,

my life, until her scream and tan-spotted wings glided over my head,
descended lower and lower on cold air, folding into a speck just visible

in dead Locust branches, talons perched on bud scars dormant until spring.
I sleep behind drawn shades and live on a thread of want,

a necklace strung with carved wooden animals—leopard, rhino, giraffe.
They cock their ears toward snoring from the room next door.

They shadowbox the wall, papered with blooming columbines—
dewy purple petals we found beneath the aspen in April.

Things take shape in the dawn—halogen lamp, basket of letters, a closed door.
To think of where I stood at your threshold on the brink of going inside.


About the writer:
Danielle Beazer Dubrasky directs the Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values and is an associate professor of creative writing at Southern Utah University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, South Dakota Review, Ninth Letter, Main Street Rag, Pilgrimage, saltfront, Cave Wall, and Terrain.org. In 2017, Red Butte Press at U. of Utah published a letter-pressed folio of her poems called Invisible Shores; and her chapbook, Ruin and Light, won the 2014 Anabiosis Press Chapbook Competition. She is a two-time winner of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums original writing competition in poetry.

Image: Symphony of the American West by Gregor Perušek (1887-1940). Oil on canvas. 91 x 102 cm. Circa 1926-27. Public domain.