I will glue the mountain cracks
with wildflowers and flayed feathers,
place my palm on the sun-stroked face
to affirm the ridge’s jaw hasn’t slackened.
I will learn to mimic the raven’s kraa,
to retreat snakes back into their skins,
cake mud to seal them for another winter.
I will re-chant my grandfather’s warning—
that even the most stoic crumble under enough
weight— (his lips in front of his father’s gin-fist)
–this wall of petroglyphs after rain
that hammered for days, keys to its decrescendo.
But you are still tucked
under a sheet of rocks, despite.
Driving to the hospital, I see a woman in her bathrobe
picking goat head blooms into a box of tissues,
wondering what kind of breaks their lemon color
might be holding together.
Holding the Mountain Together/Before you Climb
1 August 2017