Fairbanks 142

Erin Jenkins

I was probably warm in
My bed, naively dreaming and
Nine when you took your last
Breath. delirious and
Cold, you held your
Homemade satchel close to
Your slow beating heart, much
Like a cocoon. had the river not
Over flown—each trickle down
An ancient glacier—we may have seen  
Your butterfly emerge across the Stampede
Road, beyond the rages of Savage and Teklanika.

I am now twenty-four, just as you were. I
Am mesmerized by your spontaneous journey,  
Though short lived, you reached out
Your mighty thumb, your youth your
Eventual downfall.
Man vs. nature; ultimately,  
Man vs. man, this inner battle, this  
Wisdom of words and visions of
Nature that a highlighter cannot capture. Dr.
Zhivago cannot cure what you ingest, you
Reap where you roam. Patched
Jeans and a wet leather belt marks your  
Encounters, your tramped trail. All signs
Eventually point northward. The great
White, the last great ride in the magic bus.

You scratched 'lonely' and 'scared',  
Though you never felt more at home.
Oh Sushana, don't you cry for him, he  
did smile, with cracked lips and intent  
into that lens, his eerie letters a vow,  
tragic moose remains scattered in a  
margin of white. I am certain that
he lived his life, for he so graciously
embraced his death.