Zan Agzigian — “4th of JULY: HOT SPRINGS”

for Phoebe Bosche

I promise Phoebe the campout of her life, drive us through a string of
switchbacks up and up into the Olympics, the trees more dense, the sky
becomes a crack. Rain begins as we park our car in a line of cars. Must be a
popular place: Cul de Sol—so wet, all you want to do is quack. We trek up a
barren trail wondering where all the bodies are: underneath the roots, whisper I
can feel them here, the sunken people. Climbing higher in a spiral, we spin
towards light, up and up to where the trail becomes a strip, and the overhang is a
cliff’s edge. Suddenly, peoples’ heads emerge from steaming pots scattered like
pinecones floating in puddles. Drops carve circular patterns in empty pools. I strip
and sit on slippery cedar root, soft cushion against my butt. Phoebe follows suit,
and we plunge into the arms of Mother Earth, catch raindrops on our tongues,
talk of love and finding some. Making our way back from this glory, drenched to
the bone, we quick blast the heat in the car, steam up the windows, crank tunes
and head for the Port Angeles Laundromat before going back to our soaked site
for another two days of this pouring down. Never so warm and content, wearing
ponchos, cooking dinner in a downpour, one pot at a time, we make our meal in
stages, cuddled up in my newly seam-sealed tent while still light, reading poems
to die for.

Zan Agzigian is a poet and playwright with an MFA in Fiction from EWU. Stamen and Whirlwind is her 1st collection of poetry. She lives along Latah Creek Spokane with Itzy, her dog. She produces and hosts a two hour weekly music mix show called Soundspace for KPBX Spokane Public Radio. Whenever she gets the chance, Zan has a passion for restoring lookouts in NW Montana.