p l a c e

The Queer Wildlands Technical Trail Crew writing in the waning sunlight at so-called Kearsarge Lakes, Pamidu Toiyabe / Sierra Nevada, Kings Canyon National Park

all those places
we thought weren’t
meant for us–


someone is there

waiting for you
to arrive


hoping to see you
when they
finally make it.

there may be
faint footprints
to follow, to deepen

which may lay adjacent
to the path
you are debating

you won’t know
until you go there
and get close enough
to examine the trail

and, hell,
even if you

are and
ever will be

the only one there,

if it is where
your heart
wants to be,

if, on the path there,
you heart soars
and feels free,


In August, amidst megafires and drastic air quality fluctuations even in the high mountains, I had the fortune of reading and writing poetry with Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps‘ 2021 Queers In The Wilderness cohort, and then with their Queer WILDlands Technical Trail Crew. This is the last poem I shared with them.