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Valentine (IV)

Dan Pinkerton

I promise there are marmots on Ranier.
Truly I’ve seen them planted like furred
and graying pot roasts in the glacial swells.
Matt even saw them. Heaving, gut-heavy,
nicotine-pickled Matt saw them clearly.
Why not us? Should we blame trappers, global
warming, seismic whatnot? On that trip we
did see the largest gun collection in
the West (collection, not stockpile); Wall Drug;
and, at the edge of an off-ramp, a well-
hung Indian pissing toward oncoming
traffic. We blamed it on some Montanan
quirk like the speed non-limit and raced off,
testing the bounds of our timeworn Chevy.

Dan Pinkerton

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