Four Lakes

We run around four lakes. 

Tired legs connect them

with the meager help of muscles thrashed on granite faces

not a few hours earlier.

We’ve been

busy bees collecting pollen

for the honey of ascension,

or the hum of truth in still moments,

somewhere between a delayed lunch, and a morning coffee that hits the belly deep

enough to get us up and out, and up again. 

 

Legs which shimmied fear now ebb into the rhythm

of a safe request:

roll along, dodge the roots

wrapped in the pores of tree-trunks.

This is why I run.

To ease into the up and get carried up in the down.

To forgive myself for how I couldn’t

I just couldn’t.

Like a lost swimmer, who undulates with a rhythm

she didn't anticipate, and now depends on

to buoy her up,

as her last breath approaches the precipice

hung between how much she must to relax

before letting go of too much.

So too do I move, so too do I try on trust,

and thrust it off.

 

But my relief comes sooner since

the only tide that tugs

is the light waving through the branches

while dusk comes late, and I’m late again

always late,

hiccuped up and out, ever-desperate to catch up

to the specter I’ve collaged with memories of myself.

Since what we once were always remains

the potential of what we could become

and can never become

muddled in hope and I know.

 

And time once again billows, shoves me forward

buoys me up,

drops me at the end

just as I realize I will never be done

and as hard as it once was, as I swore it would get

there’s never a real memory beyond a timid touch

of the winded that eradicates all outside

the bottom of the last hill, and the top of this one.

Only glimpses, and a fondness for the knife come up

until it’s back in my throat.

Like a lump of a bite I can’t swallow

it needs the heavier pressure of another

 to carry it through.

 

Our body knows what’s best for us and what’s not, after all.

But

my exhaustion does not always have the pillow of trusting one’s self

to rest its head on.

It’s always been impossible

to swallow things whole,

or remember what whole felt like,

after all’s done and run.

I’m still left with that promise

I gave myself for the future

which I’m up against now

always up against

that lump.