When I grew up,
I knew what people meant when
they said the sun bloomed hotter
in the mountains. When I grew up,
the air slid between my teeth
in a new way, that dry Colorado wind
scorched by the sun. In Colorado, there's a greater
chance of skin cancer
because the atmosphere is a little thinner, because
in a little way, you're closer to
the vastness, by which we mean
a little closer to God.
I'm not from Colorado. When I grew up,
I knew its foothills
and its green summer grass
moving like an ocean below me. When I grew up,
I moved to the mountains
and left the plains with all their wet wheat
and dust storms, and took up the banner
of a mountain state in the hope
it would make me love me better.
When I grew up, you kissed me
on a hiking trail,
and the little diamond
you keep around your neck caught the sun
as you pulled away. When I grew up,
I knew you better.
But I won't know you now.