Thin air

You have to breathe twice as long

twice as deep, up here


It’s funny how you get the same problem if you go too high,

or if you go too deep

at least down there you can hide in the darkness

oxygen starvation isn’t a pretty diet


Hypoxemia is hard to come back from

the view isn’t reason enough to chance it

you have to look for more, to look

for those who went before you


I kept climbing the side of this mountain

because they were there above, packs barely visible

tracks fresh in the snow

voices carrying back through the quiet


…And didn’t I think I was clever?

to place my own small feet in those footsteps

to mouth those words, and finally feel the bloodrush

when I rounded the last bend, and saw them waiting


Well. That was all well and good

until I forgot how to breathe.

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