Climbing El Capitan Naked

We climbed into what we were,
into our loneliness,
into the spinning world.

I expected
I would be reshaped by it,
that the million-year-old stone
would carve me young —
younger for peeing at hanging belays
like kids, escaped from school,
feather-light under the sun.

But we aged against the granite,
and staring back on the valley floor
we knew, the way astronauts know,
that there wasn’t an ocean green and deep,
a continent raised above it,
above that, much higher, another stratum
of sky and cloud,
but a kind of snow globe,
almost self-contained,
collected in a ball,
pressed together / and moving together
like the two of us,
like the circling hawks,
and the ferns on the cliff face
revolving.
Our bodies on the rasping rock,
as plain and
bare as space.

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