Brad Garber

Boots Frenetic guitar at my brain dusty tits in the truck seat squashed peach pit in the mud and all this time the golden eagle sits in its aerie on the rock face in Wyoming sun and rivulets of snowmelt run downhill toward town where gas work whores line the blocks in the midst of prairie wives and coyote children running past lodgepole pines and bubbling volcanic waters the distant skins stretched over hollowed logs echoing in canyons while sulfur filled my nostrils my nails cracked with packed dirt and whiskey the puke of gandy dancers and roughnecks crusting the streets like baked cheese on potatoes and football players making a decent wage pissing on parked trucks before running to the next bar the laps of ranchers full of spilled beer their daughters waiting for the next rodeo while fat Herefords gaze into a fathomless horizon and the local bar plays Loretta, George, Willie and Waylon and the boys scramble to the hay at half time to swallow all they can between jeans and grime from the Midwest coats the windshields the raindrops growing larger under weight of desperation in such a short period of time before chords ring in my head like the visuals of her climbing in and the mixed scents of sage, Chanel No. 5 and sweat and we crushed it all beneath our feet with our boots. Competition It may have started when I gained a sisterher bird mouth stealing them from me Trying not to throw the baseball like a girlmy father, the player, walking away During my swim test, the lifeguards laughingpulling me out, having passed anyway My father and uncle, their parents, musiciansmy trumpet lips too small but proficient High points on oval tracks and straight roadslegs strong but never quite strong enough Point zero four from perfect grades, so closeand never able to grasp the function Graduate oral presentation, tobacco mosaic virusdark heads shaking in the shadows Marine biology, a wayfarer’s dream to earnjust never within the dreamer’s grasp Law school a destination of a lost traveler“We had great hopes for you.” Enough may never really be enoughwhen to go beyond that line matters A long list of fights won and battles losthow a missing child might look today My father, my father, my father, alwaysand I still look up into his face Swimming naked through opulent roomspeople talking as I pass through The finals test sitting on my desk, and Ihaving never attended the class Brad lives and writes in the Great Northwest. He fills his home with art, music, photography, plants, rocks, bones, books and love. He has published poetry/essays in Cream City Review, Alchemy, Fireweed, Uphook Press, Front Range Review, the NewerYork, Ray’s Road Review, Flowers & Vortexes, Emerge Literary Journal, Generation Press, Penduline Press, Dead Flowers, New Verse News, The Whirlwind Review, Gambling the Aisle, Dark Matter Journal, Sundog Lit, Diversion Press, Unshod Quills, Meat for Tea, Mercury, The Meadow, Shuf Poetry, Post Poetry Magazine, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Temenos, Hoot & Hare, The Ilanot Review, Third Wednesday, Embodied Effigies, Sugar Mule, and/or Poetry Journal, Ikleftiko, South 85, 100 Word Story, Red Savina Review, Eunoia Review, Gravel Literary Journal, New Plains Review, Blast Furnace, Round Up Magazine, Cactus Heart Journal, Squalorly and Great Weather For Media. Nominee: 2013 Pushcart Prize for poem, “Where We May Be Found.”