Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco

Learning to Downhill Ski

Sunshine over snow
Can hide the mess:
Crippled grasses and the
Shoulder blades of rocks.

But to start, I have to lean
Into the mountain’s
Sloping hips, and trust
The makeup of the world.

I find scratches on the insides
Of my arms, five hours later.

They are rough and long as unfamiliar smiles.

By the House

Fog is standing up
On its hind legs,
As determined as
My grandmother
Not to show a weakness.

Blurring out those trees
By her old house
With pink erasers.
Fingers shaking.

She could have been a photograph,
The same width as paper.

The trees grew black and thin
Against the sky.

I watched the hawks wait,
By the house, like gulps of air.

Hegenberger Road

At night the world can
Be the road,
And nothing else.

And so we’d drive out toward
The airport, past the liquor stores
And thick-ribbed white
Hotel rooms, and the heat
Rose from the corners of
The windows, rose

Like smoke — or else exhaust —
Or maybe airplanes,
Which are bright and vague
As stars.

Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco lives in California's Central Valley, where she works as a librarian. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in dislocate, Paper Nautilus, decomP, The Coachella Review, The Mas Tequila Review, Right Hand Pointing, and The Tule Review, among others.


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