Ever since we learned to climb, things have looked a little different.
I live at the foot of mountains. It wasn’t always like this
but I live here, now, climbing each morning and tiring
quite easily, but when I feel my lungs and their outline
pressing into my ribcage it makes me feel like dying a little less.
Before, when mountains were smaller—that is to say, before, when
I didn’t know how to climb, to press the soles of my feet into the ground,
to tilt forwards, leaning up, into everything above me, invisible—
I walked like I could get to where I was going without fear
or this heavy black thing I often carry around myself. Who on earth
would want to climb things this way? This morning I opened the door
with a particularly nasty case of foreboding and a cut on my palm
and the tops of the mountains were crisp white against the endless grey behind them
for the first time in days. I clenched my fist and could feel the grief dripping
onto the dirt. Somebody’s gotta do it.