Still Life: Flower After Bloom

On the day I set out for the climb

Grief saddled in my back

        like a bag of marbles

My breath like clouds hanging on low peaks

On the day I set out

                                  Leaving nothing behind,

                                   nothing on the bed

Just my voice through the night, the voice

                          I use to wad off nightmares

My voice is a still life in itself, a shroud green

                              and ultramarine deep blue

Bowl of apples and tangerines on a table,

On the day I set out

                                 A mountain

rises high in front of me,

                                 the unreliable god of mist and fog

I have no voice to say how high

                       this voice is a cloth

                       unfit for covering a dead body

                       the cloth of flowers after bloom,

Somewhere in the mountain

is myrr, is a voice I must get to 

My fingers must lift as if on a lover’s upper lip

To take in the breath of how high

                                my mountain is,

white teeth behind

A snow cap, numberless springs,

                                cold like the enzymes in spit

My feet must carry me upon this journey.


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