Mountain Men by Michael L. Counter, Jr.

So you don’t get lost, cowboy:
ride the ridges of goose bumps.
Remember matches (it gets dark here)
and cigs.

Keep your eyes open. The howls will tell you why.
Warm your frostbitten fingertips
in the space between that buck and your thighs.
Other horses have charged here, but you—
you take your time.

Pause at the nearest ledge.
Follow ’round that shoulder and cross that bank.
When it rises–the sun, pinching the sky,
leaving its hot magenta, blue sting–stop.
Peer into it, and whisper my name.

Michael L. Counter, Jr., is a poet, US Air Force vet, and doctoral candidate at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where his research looks at the intersections of race and gender performance in contemporary visual arts and pop culture media. As a black queer yoga teacher and modern dancer, he teaches body positivity workshops and gives talks on the role and importance of self care in activism and community work. Follow Michael @writeyogalove on Twitter and Instagram.

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