top of page

[Rocky Butte]
by Rose Lindsey


I have been to Rocky Butte multiple times. I have been there twice

Dust covers concrete as you ascend. Railings of thick stone. Dust underfoot. Red soot where lava once flowed. Dust caking white rims of unprepared sneakers. Dust which sprinkles

Visions of connection. I have shared in two bodies

My mother took me here. My twin and two other twins since my mom never stopped sharing body. Constant anchoring with kids that “should not” be hers. Outcrop view of  distant city. Shiver where the wind blows barren

Abandoned building skeleton which once was prison/church. Locked door stained red. Bodies bundled in captivity. Bodies bundled in blankets now

Will of wind. Will of the wisps. Will the dust turn

My lover took me here. I took her but I can’t drive so she took me. Portland skylights illuminate across skin. Her skin across my skin. Fingers interlocked. Heads perched. Bodies

I have shared a distant Portland view twice. In seventh grade from the airplane I saw
interconnected circuits in the city. Lights which bent turned flickered blinked flashed lead ways for all living beings. At a distance it was a midnight circuitboard. Distant shimmering. I was so struck by the sight that I wrote a poem about it and that poem was put on buses around Vancouver and at the reading I saw they had cut a few lines but decided it was fine they knew my poem best and my face and name? and buzzcut hair are forever within the ink/digital print until either expires and the poem is still up in my family home? and the distant lights were

Belonging in busyness. Movement away indicates that I am moving as well. Bodies within
flowing bodies within flowing time and I am moving through the dust


At Rocky Butte I have shared in two bodies beginnings and endings. Finale. Where else could be as romantic as

So dusty. Crunching underfoot soot dust that smears when you wear shoes too nice. Bodies
bundled because blankets can’t cut wind and so it winds up

Forward is the city. Up are the stars. Forward are the stars. Where is the city

Basking in that which moves glows shimmers shivers this flat place echoes with specters of what of what of that which

What slips

Rocky Butte had a prison once and a church and I am certain that this view of these stars would make me kneel and so would her

Earbud in ear sharing a new favorite of hers knowing that the city is above me and we will not be

When I wrote that poem I had no idea it would matter or be accepted. Surprise/pride mounted on that family wall. I used to know that poem by heart but now the words are


bottom of page