The Farthest Idea to Have

           —Miami, Florida

Was it live oak we drove beneath
in Coral Gables, or some other
large and looming force full of
moss and weight and light?
Delicate architecture, beautiful country,
the sun buried every block in gold.
Neat lawns imitated wild, built
every breath of green from shade
and shadow. Strange birds blinked
from the lowest branches, and we—
we drove ourselves through the summer,
parked the car beside the bookstore,
walked in sweating like hurricane boards.
What are we after again? Something that sings,
let’s say that. And soon, in the AC’s hum,
we found a poem about a distant land
of snow and rock and ice, glacial tilled,
leaning toward a foreign season’s grip.
It seemed odd. It seemed the farthest idea
to have. How could it ever find us—
here with the glade and bog and ibis flight,
here with the egret’s easy blue and bluish green?
On the way home, you pointed from the car.
Look, spanish moss, it’s everywhere.


Travis Truax grew up in Virginia and Oklahoma and spent most of his twenties working in various national parks out west. A graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salamander, Quarterly West, The Pinch, Sonora Review and Bird’s Thumb. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.