twenty and seventeen are just two numbers
and we were just six
three tents one bivy
all of us among trees
and stones you could never count.
days and miles logged were marked
by moments enacted like blue lizards
sunbathers of baroque paintings
to frame each view of disappearing horizons.
latent wildfire smoke obscured them
and reality drifted away.
this place was devonian jurassic and eocene
all at once and spoke the common tongue
the partnership of glacial polish and erratics.
seasons have always been its heartbeats
and we only just starting walking.
above waterwheel falls
we checked privilege gave thanks
and offered prayers to each our creators
with generous pinches of tobacco.
we drank from san franciscan toilets
and swam in their bathtubs
cold and called the tuolumne
its pools every spanish revival blue of the mission.
granite calloused our soles
granite scrubbed clean our souls
all of it with its whites and blacks
pure quartz and feldspar
a modernist dance frozen in homeostasis.
and where there is quartz there always is gold
and for us the gold was the perfect light
it led the way each day up only up
towards the cerulean
through grand canyon depths
and steps into scenes of
beauty refined but not by us.
for five full days we created fire
knew awe and sought symbols
here in this canyon we became human
more than we were before.