Temple Mountain Hilton

In my mind the moon is shining,
Or are the stars just that much
Brighter out here among the
Sagebrush and gypsum?
Or, could it be recollection,
backlighting faces into obscure
Shadows as they enter Temple
Mountain Hilton, and spread
Cocoons of nylon beside the
Cryptobiotic soil?

The stars–moon maybe?–shine past a vacant
Roof outlined only by wood too dry to rot.
Did I forget to say that Temple Mountain Hilton
Isn’t a hotel?

I’m afraid I’m no good at telling Stories–
My memory getting in the way of nostalgia.

This husk and others litter the base
Of Temple Mountain–
relics of Utah’s uranium boom.
The mines are only a short walk from here,
But I won’t take you;
It’s night still in my mind
And the winzes shafts remain uncovered.

Uranium Capital of the World
They once called this place.
Now tailings leak leukemia down
The Colorado into Las Vegas
Swimming pools.

But tonight, these rough
sandstone walls surround us
In a shelterless embrace–
nothing left of the building
but four walls evoking
test range violence.

It’s time to wake or sleep.
Did I mention how bright it is,
Out here among the
Sagebrush and gypsum?


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