Natalie Homer
| poetry

This entry is about the U.S. state of Montana. For other uses, see Montana (disambiguation). "Big Sky Country" redirects here. For the song by Chris Whitley, see Big Sky Country (song).
1. Etymology
    1.1 Big Sky of found treasure, Spanish word for mountain, or more
          broadly the agate territory

2. Topography
    2.1 glaciers

    2.2 prairie

    2.3 caldera

    2.4 ranches

    2.5 ghost towns

    2.6 Sinclair gas stations
3. Flora and fauna
    The wolves wake me up. In the cabin’s loft, I turn around to the window
    above the bed. Outside, the sky is drenched indigo, and the snow glows
    blue, shaped into mounds of diamond shards. Down near the outlet
    I can hear them. But it’s not what you think. The sound is excited,
    fraternal. Neither haunting nor unbroken.
4. Demographics
    4.1 White Cabbage Moth, Mountain Sorrel, Tundra Swan, Pallid Bat,
    4.2 Native Indian Ricegrass, Wild Tiger Lily, Prairie Fire,
          Ghostpipe, Indian’s Dream
5. Climate
    Heavy snowstorms may occur any time from September through May.
    The glaciers have receded and are predicted to melt away
    completely in a few decades.
6. Skylines
    Bitterroot     Yellowstone     Bighorn     Beartooth     Garnet
    Sapphire    Anaconda     Missions
7. Culture
    The barstool is a saddle. I clutch the horn and order a whiskey
    ditch. Because I like the sound of it and the way it sits on the
    glossy wood, honeyed and conspicuously full. There’s something
    about all those Mesozoic bones.How everything simmers under
    the surface. How no one will look a skinhead in the eye.
    shops on Canyon, with their troughs full of plastic gems.
    Something, too, about the gift How only you can prevent
    forest fires You, like the crystals I dug up and kept for
    years on my dresser. In the sunlight on a mountainside,
    you are brilliant. Under fluorescence, you dull and one
    afternoon I will find that I’ve lost you.

Natalie Homer is an MFA candidate at West Virginia University. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Ruminate, The Lascaux ReviewBellevue Literary Review, and others.

Fiction Reading January 2: Porter Square Books