Mark this tree. We will return here --
You want to climb the mountain,
but I would rather circle it.
See that moss there, sunlight on ferns,
all the varied herbs
the way the ground cups
a boulder and clothes it in leaves.
When the ground slopes upwards, I slip
and drag you down the path we've gone before.
it's different this time
see that heal-all, that wasn't there
the slant of the sun through pines
warm air clasping us like a hand
mark this tree
I've been to the top of the mountain.
It's cold. You'll see the raptors up there, it's true
but other people spoil the view,
making their inane comments, snapping pictures,
crinkling candy wrappers, leaving
cigarette butts on the path
There's no solitude anywhere.
In dreams, I stand with women at the edge of a cliff,
trees and water laid out below us. I am complete.
An orange silk banner
floats in the breeze against clear, blue sky.
Those are dreams. Mark this tree.
We will be back here, I swear.
When I tire, we can climb
but not together, I fear.