Jenn Gutierrez

C A M P I N G   at   O  L E J T O  W A S H

We woke to rain,
a light sprinkling of rhythm
and pattern against tarp. 
The cadence of the San Juan, 
with silt rising.
First there was the wind. 
It blew her adrift, 
like those many piles
of wood we floated past—abandoned.
Here it is a constant fight for sunlight,
a play of eddies,
and sand—red sand, the colored
mask of a forgotten cheek. 
How this sense of
time and place lends itself
to a permissive halt, as though it too 
is searching for the you and I 
immersed so long ago. 
Lost wisdom of fire
ignited the old-fashioned way,
and then there is the evening—
the way the canyon cradles the moon
and Venus stands helplessly at guard.
I feel her crying within stone walls and taste her
seeping up through the  hollows 
of sediment buried.
Picturing hair the color of night, 
and eyes the reflection
of rushing. 
Something like my own ebony eyelash 
and falling to the earth.
Descending, I am washed free—but lost 
in a kind of human hollowness
of distance fighting against 
the warmth of your body  
spooning my own. 

Jenn Gutiérrez holds a B.A. in English and an M.F.A in English and Writing. She currently teaches Composition and Diversity Education at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Denver respectively. Her 2002 debut collection of poems titled Weightless is available online through most book outlets including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.