By Natasha Sajé

Photography: Frank Jensen,

You are the place I moved to for work but also the state where I’m never lost: your over-the-top mountains breathlessly close, craggy gray rock brown-hilled in summer, whiter than my teeth in winter, green in May before drought, always tell me where (and when) I am. Along with the copper mine one can see from space, the Salt Lake too shallow to swim, the townhouses jammed into crevices of valley like trilobites procreating frantically in a tidepool, while humans are shadowed by wilderness where elk, coyotes, moose and mountain lions — and no mosquitoes! no mold! — roam. O Utah, you’re a kinky rectangle and I’m a pear wasted on a December tree. We’re both queer as cupcakes except you pretend you’re white bread.

Natasha Sajé is the author of three books of poems, a book of literary criticism, and most recently, a memoir-in-essays. She teaches at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and will retire from Salt Lake City’s Westminster College in 2022.