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​Trey Moody is the author of Thought That Nature, selected for the 2012 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry and forthcoming from Sarabande Books. His poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2009, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, and Washington Square. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.​


I think the quantity of timbered land on the river is increasing
         —Meriwether Lewis, 16 April 1805


Sun erases yesterday’s
news I now
can see completely—

the hills of the river still
continue extremely broken—


but how long until one
no longer can see—

when it becomes a fine
level country of open fertile lands—

the history of handling
the inaccessible—

the mineral appearances
still continue—

and still I think
that somehow this
is all I can know

Perfect Potential

saw several parsels of buffaloe’s hair hanging on the rose bushes, which had been bleached by exposure to the  weather and became perfectly white
             —Meriwether Lewis, 18 April 1805


Appearance of the wool

of the sheep, tho’ much finer

and more silkey and soft


material to clothe,

to house, to protect

from the unknowable


though knowledge

lacks correlation

with conviction


I am confident​

that an excellent cloth

may be made


of the wool

of the Buffaloe

and I am confident


that we will never

not attempt to makeup

for any lack

The Good Life

the Small Pox reduced the others
      —William Clark, 10 March 1805

How to begin

How to write
about a place

those Chiefs stayed all day
and all night


Beal Slough we see
by highway

A moment

Do salt flats a city

gave us man[y]
Strange accounts of his nation &c


A city

How to write about a place

five Villages
on the West Side & two on the East


What do we
we know

And how do we know
to begin

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