It was around lunch that we stopped
at a state park in North Dakota.
We’d never seen buffalo before.
We watched them from the car
mass in the distance like clouds,
shaggy and morose and too dumb
to move when the bored travelers
would shoot them from trains.
We didn’t talk about the thunderous,
black hooves of prehistoric gods
or the stink of rotting carcasses,
but just sat with the engine running.
I still smoked then and lit a cigarette
and stared out at the remnant,
everything edging toward nothing,
which was filled with sunlight.