Mount Mansfield

by Tragash

In the alpine tundra, needles of coniferous

limbs only reach my chest. There’s sun on a false Mans-

field summit, and my father’s sturdy hands, cramping 

on crimps of mica-albite-quartz, extend and bring 

him up to my bivouac. Overlapping stripes

of pink and white colored years in the rock; some blue

trail markers border the sides of our conversation.

We share the camp, sitting so we are both abreast

on the mountain. He pronounces my name correctly

and admits that his daughter was farther ahead.


My head crests, breaks surface tension. Forest

trees, leaves drinking turbid water. Two hands

unclog my ears, my lissome chest panting:

inflating crushed lungs. Atop the rush rings

my girlfriend’s laugh. She’s an igneous dyke

deposited alongside all the new

erratic. Low sky and a low bleak hill,

the sandbar of a girl’s arms. My branches

 lilt through high heat and valley stretches. From

this vantage: mountains like sails glinting on water.