People skipped stones across the water;
a lake sitting
thirteen thousand feet above the sea,
surrounded by towering mountains.
The peaks gazed down, brazenly unconquered.
They are gods.
The old ones who walked here before us knew it—
that they are surmounted solely by those as bold as them, in
that moment when mind and mountain become one.
That climb is like two arrows
meeting in midair.
I found the recipe for victory in my breathless brain
when I saw the path through the pain in my legs:
bravado in awareness,
like a coca leaf steeped in hot water.
I heard The Hero’s death rattle
and he was laughing.
Ripples spread across the lake, green and blue and brown
like a Long Island iced tea in the Andes,
and I thought of you as I caught my breath.
Skipping stones are sacred too, but only if you mean it.
When I tell you that I do care, that I do love you—
that is sacred.
People dipped their toes into the water, and said that it was cold,
but maybe they’re the cold ones?
This lake’s a mirror for divinity.
They could be too, but they’re too busy thinking.
Love isn’t a thought.
It’s a lake, and a mountain, and a hike.