You reach four thousand meters:
The air is thin, foliage changes
with each twist you take.
Bamboo shifts to tundra, then
a rare and sudden flush of flowers.

Sheer barren rocks, limestone white,
a remnant of the wet season.
Goats spread across the trail
and their eyes follow you. An old male
brushes your leg, horns massive,

and is off again over boulders, down
into the ravine. A farmer appears
and as if by osmosis the goats gather again
by his side. You can't breath and the view
is to die for. Clouds slide around you,

each step is a prayer for flat ground.
They call this the Spring Province
but you didn’t expect summer
in winter. Your group of six divides,
reforms, divides. The girls have large packs

while you have nothing but a spare shirt
and socks to last God knows how long.
The sun is huge and the Yangze snakes
boldly through the valley, blue then brilliant
white. You are inches from death

and never happier. You find yourself alone,
suck in sweet, light air but can never
get enough. A butterfly perches
upon your arm, the manifold greys of dawn,
a man on horseback stops, asks

if you're ok, and if you could reply
you'd say yes. There's nothing
left in your legs or lungs, but then
she's there again, like so often
this past week. Just the two of you

and a vastness you’d not imagined,
You sit together, dust-covered
and weary, then you find something extra,
and it's all downhill from here
into the evening and a shared night.



I wasn’t expecting naked photos. I thought, naked photos would be nice, but these probably aren’t naked photos. I didn’t know what they were. My friend has a flock of women who send him naked photos. He’s quite charismatic.

She sent me photos of wattle. Acacia. Blue sky background, acacia up close, perfect little golden mouths, round, as if each one is saying oh. I remember why she’s entrenched in me.

She doesn’t do email. But she sends photos of wattle. The icing on the cake? She calls it butter, which I described wattle as in a poem, long ago. Really, who does that? Who remembers that?


I had a picnic planned for today, by the lake. Two guys, two girls. Sort of a double date, except both guys like the same girl. So not really a double date. A 2x1 +1 date.

But it’s raining. I got suspicious last night when wind exploded from nowhere and the trees cast rodeo shadows through my windows and the temperature dropped. I thought tomorrow will be interesting.

Now it’s tomorrow and it’s interesting. Grey and wet, and for the first time since I’ve been here, full of thunder. Like a bird of prey, circling.


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