poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

The Dog Star


Climbing a glass mountain lit from within

by the Dog Star still over the horizon

a faint yet distinct blue-white glow

the rest of us haven’t yet seen

well enough to reflect      allows the mountain

to show us imaginary hand- and foot-holds

We’re high enough the ground is lost below

each step feels like starting over

Starting over is forgetting what came before

as if it added nothing to the next step

‘It’s a practice mountain,’ someone says;

likely, if we had time to think of it

The mountain works with us

we have not fallen except as forgetting

falling would be loss; forgetting is a kind of 

personal storage unknown as the mountain is

without its reflected inner light

Sometimes it seems it is this inner mountain

we’re climbing, a black-light reflection

that knows the outer one just before we do

before each reach and step, each stretch and pull

hauling our heavy ass where it wouldn’t go

on its own, the weight of generations

preferring the ground     We’re lighter as we climb

and maybe younger     your hair is green, 

your hands like claws     

you’ve grown great leathery wings

We no longer fear falling

a few feet up is far enough

as the directionless mountain

does not let go of us

You say I’ve grown a long dog-face

with heavy pouched eyes

that would be sad or wise if human



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