For the grit of it.

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Shaking heartbeats vibrate my ribcage

the purple mountains watch this mortal struggle

The cantaloupe alpenglow settles the magic hour debate

30 feet above me, he hangs casually in his harness, smiling down

“Come bring me that pail of water Jill”, he urges my insides to smile

keep climbing

keep grunting

To hell with my ego

I’m starving, and this humble pie satiates my deep- belly pride

Why do I do this?

Did I yell that through the canyon?

Briefly panning out

The soundtrack to my jagged upward haul is laced with expletives from

some deep, guttural wolf inside of my throat.

This moment

How it squeezes my toes

How my head space breathes bigger to make room for mind maneuvers

How my loose braid catches in this belay device

A sharp knife cuts me free from a sure-scalping

Adrenaline fuels this rappel

Crack a celebratory beer on the dusty ground. My chalky fingernails barely able to grip the tab

The cold rush of bubbles remind me that this is being present

I watch my eyes in the truck mirror on the drive home

my bruised and battered hands surf the night thermals

Living on the razors edge

That was fun

“Wanna do it again tomorrow?”

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