traveled up to the mountains on the shadow of a whim.
took my bike, brought a blanket.
short hair and a beard is my preference
in the family’s old log cabin – winter new zealand.

spent the mornings chopping alone
in a maroon sweater. rays can’t fit through the clouds
and one is forced to confront oneself
in the gloom, the white dark of those months.

my jacket, crumpled on that green chair.
the light came dull through the window,
but enough to notice from the toilet:
it sitting there all nice, tiredly woven
into itself. the chair didn’t mind.

a grand feeling of wanting
to be by the fire, with a girl whom i’d love.
but it was good alone, a fullness to it;
nothing missing without my family.

Feston Altus is a poet based in Portland, Oregon.

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