How Like the Mountain
We wear each other like beautiful clothes a size too large
bought many years ago to allow room for growth.
We wear on each other not in a cruel way
but in the way salt air shapes a cliff side
smoothing unpredictable edges.
The fingers of our love steal into the dark crenulations
like ivy irrevocably creeping along a rock face.
Our ridges seem twisted and gnarled,
like arthritic joints howling on frigid nights,
comforting each other by physical presence.
In prior days, our love provided kindling,
stoking the simmering coals of desire.
Now we often pick on each other like turkey carcasses,
cleaning the meat from weathered bones.
We slash and snarl as each tries to reach a balance
between his own needs and the needs of the other.
There is a danger here, but also strength,
a greater danger waits outside our love.
We struggle like rock-climbers on a mountainside
roped together each inching upward,
clinging precariously but secure in the tethering.
As the summit is approached, our beautiful clothes,
now a little worn at the knees,
shiny in the last vestiges of a setting sun,
become a perfect fit.