Summer 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 2000 |

The Pinnacle

Having found a trail, we but followed. Technically, you followed me. How much is not what it looks like. I'm remembering parts so overgrown, I kept stopping to ask which way from here. You did not ask this question. Each time I looked back, you weren't stopping, you were following, you were not asking questions. In time we came to a sloped meadow. The tall grass made me nervous. Though I explained, I was not understood entirely. You were patient, you allowed me some time to become different. If I didn't change, you didn't notice, for I pushed forward, crossing the meadow by playing a game in my head called Cross the Meadow or Don't Cross It, by which we arrived at the wooded hemline of forest. The path steepening upward, but more clear. We ascended. I am remembering the obvious--trees mostly, and a hardness of breath that you said had less to do with altitude than with shape, our being out of. To agree was easy, and not binding. I

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Carl Phillips
Carl Phillips is the author of thirteen books of poems, most recently Reconnaissance (FSG, 2015). He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

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