THERMOS 10: Hunter Deely, “salmon river, idaho”

This poem is from our special issue of THERMOS featuring Hunter Deely’s poetry. You can check back during the remainder of this week for more of his poetry. For an introduction, see here.



salmon river, idaho


ah the dead pig’s ghost
ambles down the riverbank
every morning, blessed be


on a burned stump the
hummingbird clung
to his flannel


the burned trees piercing
the mountain sides
like feathers, hunting
grouse all morning


he used to shoot up cocaine,
still a purple gnarl
on the inside of his elbow
where he hit, a kind of slug
or flower


a kind of amnesia, blessed
be, in these hills, the open
knife with its taste buds


i am waiting for a living
man to die so i can ask him


they kill the pig each fall


and when he looks down
the barrel, does he see
the eye of his father


does he see the tree of dark
metal twisting in the night


saying blessed be, here
twenty two nez perce were
massacred in the night


ah there is blood all over,
watch the trees, watch
the hummingbird


do not forget that omens
are real, that they touch us


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