In the thin air
of these men
I gasp, strain, am constantly surprised.
Quick-building storms, the birth of clouds
Grinding glaciers and seracs.
Everyone knows that coastal creatures like myself
Should slowly, carefully judge this journey.
It is as though their flanks engulf me.
I make a base camp, but do not remain.
I lose my breath with effort. My tears freeze,
Body melts and blood is thick and sluggish.
It's so far to fall from near the summit, darlings,
But while I wait to die I think of you.
April 23, 1999