For the Trout: I, Cutthroat

You were here first.
I can see why in
the way the rivers don't
rob you of what the streams gave.

The dim rosettes on your
sides live behind your spots
in another time
as if Lewis and Clark were
still planning to meet near
water and would never stop.

And the thin orange slashes
on your throat will always
be proof. No matter how
the world may crowd toward
the hybrid of loss
they will be there.

Your gill covers burn crimson
toward purple as you flaunt
the purity of the West
spilling east from the divide
and a world
lost in you.