What it’s like to stand atop a mountain in December

Gravel is stuck in the siping

of my tires, in the crevices

of my boots.

They are too small for my wandering

feet, but they match the way my heart

beats with a caged restraint. So I zipped

them over these old jeans

I should’ve tossed years ago,

but I don’t have the nerve to dispose

of your memory. It is stitched into the

pockets where I keep you tucked


I am constantly held back.


The elevation cuts my breathing

short- curses struggle to pass

through chapped lips, a dull

tongue. My desire to escape slips

out without question.


I follow; I stop.


I listen.


Wind whips between branches, and I see the foliage pull

lovers’ secrets through needles that cannot hold

on much longer.

I wait.


The trees appear untouched. No force

of nature could possibly reveal the loudness

a soul emits when left to rot

in silence.


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