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 valley 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 sing and reverberate
callous, or time, or the anatomy
of fingers and molten stone.

Chockstones for throats:
heavy, polished, grave—
we scream,
inside and out
and we question
who is actually listening, or
why. We expose
the irrationality of brain,
scatter self-will
like broken talus bones—
fields of both self-doubt and
reincarnated rapture.

We become
as transient, as transparent
as the walls that we climb.
We find a sanity
that may not really exist,
but it’s enough
to move on; our shoes stick,
our throats swallow the stone
and we are humiliated
when the mountain
proves too steep
too wide, too honest

but we are what we’ve been wanting
to conquer 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 you stare at,
desire without touching.
We chase, we endure, we sit, repose
remember our beginnings
erode
echo the mountain,
witness its moods, our moods
tell its story, our story
and how we only ever just became
human again.

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 only find themselves there, staring back
from the darkest of wounds.

 

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