Keith Holyoak

Issue #
February 3, 2014

Climbing Above Rongbuk Monastery

A golden spire
draped with prayer-flag rainbows
     and Qomolangma
burnished by summer snows

     Point the way upward
beyond the human world—
     the air gets thinner,
the end of the earth draws close.

     Nothing but ice,
and rock, and wind, and sky—
     life colors have vanished,
even the green of moss.

     Gasping for breath
I crawl on hands and knees—
     between bare stones
a purple blossom grows.

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