You enter unmapped and unmeaning into the lowlight of the southern plains, pulling along snail-like your own back pages, your B-sides and blue notes, the quilt you’ve built and kept and sprawled out like carpet on some rock across the past. From here, the view is fine, sure, but you are trying to decide today. What bed you’ve made, what you’ve become. You tell everyone the future is a cloud. You have, for years, wished to fall backwards into your passion. You’ve confused wildly both roads and rivers. And now, now that you are back, you don’t want to miss the right light—the pale wagon loaded, making west with the love you’ve meant, again and again, to give.
You live on the edges of learning, of gaining, of leaving. You live on the fringes, the fabric of life-gone-by. And what do you get? You get the ruddy distances in the desert west, you get memory. You get your mother picking you up from school. You get your grandmother’s tea. You get the crude, rock-drawn novel of where you’ve been. It all returns on the coattails of going, of coming. A carapace of what lasts. The ecotone, the place between. Transition. An estuary, a reed bed, the space between biomes. A blend. You feel, always, the tension of what you walk away from long after it’s gone. That lag in time. The river, trying to understand salt. The salmon somehow understanding both.
Travis Truax earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2010. After college he spent several years working in various national parks out west. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ascent, Quarterly West, Bird's Thumb, Barnstorm, and The Cossack Review. Currently he resides in Bozeman, Montana.