Interloper on Antelope Island by Daryl Wells

(at the altar of dried grass expect decline,
for a southerner in pursuit of flowers
to graze through endless sagebrush) 

i am the interloper my lover brings to Antelope Island.
the Great Salt Lake is fresh to me.
i see the western mountain mirror the lake,
vibrant as a mirage in fading. 

brash coyotes bark the brine.
seepwood dredged with silt. and we kiss.

here we are on this chukar-feathered island,
a wind-stench reels memory back—
ten years: now we’re splayed on different shorelines,
in a whorl and haze. your hands, clasped with sand,
form shell. Seed enclosed with prayer.

Note from the poet: I'd say in relation to the Great Salt Lake I am like the clown in Emily Dickinson’s poem, “A Little Madness in the Spring”, who with God “…ponders this tremendous scene — / This whole Experiment of Green — / As if it were his own!” But I also acknowledge I'm an outsider (Texas) who, for a brief moment, watched from within as the lake recedes; and that deeply saddens me.

This verse is Part 58 of the collective praise poem irreplaceable.

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