Chris Dombrowski

Rex’s Georgic: Hunting Morels in Last Year’s Burn

White whorls, three flags of trillium splash up from charred

ground.  A Ponderosa’s boiled sap.  Sometimes even in the

spring even after the long snows you can find a trunk still




Puckett, you are the worst goddamn mushroom hunter I ever

saw.  Like some drive-by mushroom hunter.  Look: Slug

always finds his ’shroom.



Crow-caw.  Crow-mew.  Wind from far away.  Crow-bark. 

Wind in the dead chimes of the aspen.



Some folks’ll rub soot on their face for luck.  Paint warrior-

lines and such but it ain’t about luck ‘t all.  Matter of fact you

know Chick Alexander?  Judge.  Lost his son Abe when their

baseball rolled under the porch.  Right in front of you.  Next to

your foot.



Swallowtails, cabbage-whites, the dark scat of denning wolves. 

Little azures that love the dung. 



So Abe goes digging after the ball and unwraps a den of young

rattlers.  Thirty-seven bites.  And that’s countin’.  You do

know Chick, right?  Yeah, well he’s a helluva mushroom




Dead deer.  Button-buck.  The difference between thistles and

burrs.  What the dead do is none of our business.



That swale there’s brimful of ticks so watchit.  Had a

ladyfriend once send me all these tick drawings after she left. 

She was thinking about me still.  Said I was a tick under her




Six swift clouds.  Could enough of them erode a mountain.



Nope, I’ve never found ‘em on that hill, though I did find

fifteen pounds of weed growing there one year.  No buds.  But

back then a leaf would get you high.  You just stepped on one. 

Other boot. 


Sundogs, two of them.  A whole hillside of trillium.  Roots the

Nez Perce used to boil to arouse their sleeping lovers.



Now I have heard that before.  Knew a couple tried it once. 

Fucked so long and hard their short hairs knotted.



That?  That’s a glacier lily.  You can eat those.  Watch.




“Rex’s Georgic: Hunting Morels in Last Year’s Burn” originally appeared in Colorado Review (XXXIII/3, Fall/Winter 2006).