Blue-like, a blue like a mollusk melting in air
A thin air, an air in which whips
my mouth and nose and ears, that assaults them
in a funny way, a gentle way
I think the air is saying why
Did you come to the Himalayas? Why are you here?
And the others all trudging up my side? But I did not
care. I did not take a care card with me on the trip.
When I was planning
the trip I was on beach reading a book. A book about
Himalayas because before I thought it was just a word
like salt. And I was on the beach and I saw a blue
Mollusk and I thought of the pink salt and felt
sane. And safe!
But it was not safe. There was a chance of
my carcass freezing to the mountain. Clinging to the
mountain like a tongue to a poll. Like the shock of
how painful it is and the instant regret like nothing else.
Like the air. The thinness of the air. The veil of it. Like
I was marrying the horror of dying alone on a hostile
mountain that did not want me. That did not care.
I left my confidence on the
beach. Who was I to deal with nature like that. I only
studied danger in passing. Like the bubbling waves
before a tsunami and standing in the doorway during
an earthquake and hiding in the cellar during a tornado.
Did I really care to learn. No.
I did not really care to learn. I did not really care
for much at all.
Natalie Lyalin is the author of two books of poetry, Blood Makes Me Faint, But I Go For It (Ugly Duckling Presse 2014), and Pink & Hot Pink Habitat (Coconut Books 2009), as well as a chapbook, Try A Little Time Travel (Ugly Duckling Presse 2010). She lives in Philadelphia.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan