Mount Saint Helens—

by Georgia Dennison

   named after
       Mother of Emperor Constantine,
who fed the poor, who insisted,
after three hundred years of persecution–

   ashes itself onto the lone plain, like a wave.

They make Christmas ornaments out of her.





   Mount Saint Helens–named

   after British diplomat Lord St Helens–

ashes itself onto the whole of the Northwest

       like a storm without a sewer.
           They make Christmas ornaments out of him.


      Men pressed their organs onto this land;

           nettles folded into dough
             transform the crust a stinging green.

   The Puyallup tribe called Helen

   Loowitlatkla or
Lady of Fire, who,
when granted eternal life,
               her youth.
This land carries, against its will,
           the word “discovered.”


       The sky will never be an ocean,

not matter how often you write it that way.

           Kill your metaphors, poets,

               it’s the year of meaning what we say.

Georgia Dennison was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She has spent the last ten years wandering and writing in the states of Florida, California, North Carolina, Maine and New York. She currently resides in Missoula where she is an MFA candidate and writing instructor at the University of Montana.