THE AUTHOR AS MAN CLIMBING RECREATIONALLY WHO’S UNSEEN ACROSS THE CANYON AS HE WITNESSES THE AVALANCHE IN CLIFFHANGER
After the film by Renny Harlin
Because the snow is falling, because I am here & falling,
& listening, I see them, early, too early, before the man
takes the plunge from the mountain’s edge. I hear gunfire
before the avalanche, before I hope no one knows I’m here.
There’s just air now, & snow, the failing to not look down
while, hooked in, I can’t do anymore. Dear God,
I’ve given you nothing & I know this. Keep me safe. Shatter me
like stars, like light through hailstorms, & I’ll hold on.
The guns fire & I wait, wait for them to see me here—blood-ripe
knuckles gripped—for everyone there to spot me, cowering
in some kind of prayer, for stability, a pausing of spent muscles
& life to hand me the pass to be afraid now. Because I am.
And I’ve always been. The snow keeps falling & I’m safe again
among this foothold, this slipping, this peace now.
Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. He currently lives with his wife in New York, where he is a PhD Candidate in English and creative writing at Binghamton University.
Photo by Jessica Montesano