Gabriel Furshong

The Guide

          San Marcos, Guatemala

Three days in the mountains with you scraped my voice bone quiet

the killer you greet as a host
the kitchen tiles blood-steeped brown
the grave they point to without using their hands

After hearing my questions

you removed your false teeth
where others were pulled out with the roots

you rolled your sleeve past the scar
where barbed wire had tightened
slowly as it was turned

I walked behind you then

past a hand hewn church
through pulses of dust that hung in the path

Gabriel Furshong writes from Missoula, MT, where he works for the Montana Wilderness Association. His essays and reporting have appeared in High Country News, the Earth Island Journal, and Montana Quarterly, among other publications. The Cobalt Review published his latest work of nonfiction, "Small Ball" in April. His poetry has been printed in the anthology I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights (Lost Horse Press) and the CutBank Literary Magazine.

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