The Climber

He climbs like a dancer,
like sandstone grit under
fingernails doesn’t smart
and quick skidding slips
from a crumbling cliff are
necessary for this art.

Ascending at a steady pace,
thoughtful palms and pads
of fingers placed soft and
self-assured. With grace
and sun on his lashes, the
bronzed back to match stone
slabs, he clambers fast.
He catches light.

The friction of hand jammed
in a crack, the delicate step
where there is no shelf, a
scene of canopy and stinging
sweat; the danger only flavors
his pride. Knowing nothing
lies below but sure demise.

Others warn not to look down,
yet nothing else will sate him.
To stare peril in the face
and dare berate him. He laughs,
swipes chalk into the abyss to
watch it float into the grime.
He dons a smirk and climbs.

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