Chris Dombrowski

What is the West?

"I don't understand it at all; I don't reckon we ever understand home. The West, though?  A week or so ago, July 4, lying on a warm sandbar with my young daughters surrounded by a moving body of water making its long way to the Pacific. Nearby my son and his friends jump off a house-sized boulder into the river's cold thalweg and float awhile before circling into the eddy. An osprey falls from the evening sky, plunges hard and comes up empty. Above us a mountain resembling a very large version of the boulder the boys leap from appears to stand still. Wind, thin light from the first star. Look, my daughter says, and hands me a pebble, seed of the mountain.  How we go on, or so said Snyder, a far better channeler of Dogen than I."

Chris Dombrowski is the author of , Body of Water (Milkweed Editions, 2016). His most recent book of poems, Earth Again, was runner-up for ForeWord Magazine's Poetry Book of the Year. He lives with his family in Missoula, MT where he works as a river-guide.