I climbed the mountain not to reach the top, but to cross over,
marking each morning with a new little bracelet on my wrist,
with colors of ascending frequency to note the mounting chakras,
simulating an elevated state in the thinning air.
I love me, I want to be me…. but not this way.
This me can’t be alone with herself,
this me is flipping through her hair, her phone, a box of cookies
to avoid that awkward small-talk with the ignored inner self.
I didn’t listen to her, but I did dress her up, one braided bangle at a time,
with all the attributes of a happy soul, if not a body to put them in.
Wasn’t it one year ago the stranger gave me that kite?
A symbol of my freedom, she said.
But she didn’t give me the wind, or the way.
And the girl I was rose with the sun in the place where the horizon flexed obtuse,
lifted her childish pennant,
and begged the coldest winds of Africa to do for her what time had not:
“change me, heal me, make me whole.”
When each false idol flags, I replace it with another sorry charm.
From a man to a mountain- the talisman shifts shape-
but they have all failed and they always will
unless or until I can wake from my dreams to a willingness to be me, even as I already am
clutching a soggy bracelet of sincere hopes faded in chlorine and concessions.
I don’t feel like climbing, or swimming any more.
Maybe I want to write-
first draft, fuck it-
and to go nowhere that I am not already.