Riddle at 29,000 Feet

You said marriage must sacrifice itself on the altar
of family, but this week I read about a man who

climbed back up Everest to find his missing wife.
I wash moonlight from your forehead and the Sphinx

in your chest asks again:What comes down but never
goes up? You never did learn how to waltz. The site

called Rainbow Valley earned its name from the bright
coats of all the climbers who never made it back

to base camp. The husband who went after his wife
is red is orange is blushing in the valley. Love is such

an unreliable savior. What’s so delicate that saying its name
breaks it? The wife lived for two days in the cold. Saving her

was too risky, climbers said. Snow collected in her mouth.
The mountain whitened its history. She is blue is green

is singing when wind rides through her sockets. Who knows
if they had children. That’s not the story. Ever, ever,

our happiness common, endurable. I ask what crazy thing
you’d do for me. Answer, the rain. Answer, silence.


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