We Are the Walls

The author in Yosemite. Photo by Brian Kimball

We Are the Walls
by Sara Aranda


Morning light, hollow flake
balance of granite and us
and our feet, delicate
malleable hands—
how they trace stone walls
better than the sky.

We’ve come to know another language
of immaterial body    a dialogue
of skin and its blood.
We feel for the cracks,
sloping edges, the slightest of undulations
in a blanket of slab—how they all seethe
and reverberate callous    or time, or
the anatomy    of fingers and hard bone.

Chockstones for throats
heavy, polished, grave—
we yell, inside and out        and we question
who is actually listening, or

We scatter self-will
like wind—
field self-doubt and rapture
into rolling ferns
we become    as transient, as transparent as
the walls we’ve come to climb

find sanity
that may not really exist,
but it’s enough        to move on; our shoes stick,
our throats swallow our stones
and we are tangents in a mountain too steep
too wide, too honest
but we are what we’ve been wanting
all along. We are what time    slowly alters, never forgets
we are the walls where paradise is found    and lost
again and again—

the walls we stare at, desire        without touching.
Chase, endure, sit, repose
remember beginnings, erode        as the mountain,
witness its moods    our moods
tell its story        our story
and how we only ever just became
us again.

But we are soft    have always been.
We are fractured and elusive
just as defined
by those who cross our length        our depth
who pry at our fissures to find
only themselves there        staring back.


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