"Advertisement for the Mountain"


by Christina Davis

   There are two versions of every life.

   In the first one, you get a mother, a father,
   your very own room.

   You learn to walk, which is only done by walking.
   You learn the past tense of have, which is hunger.

   You learn to ask almost anything
   is to ask it to be over,
   as when the lover asks the other

   “Are you sleeping? Are you beginning
   to go away?”

   (And whether or not you learn it, life does not penetrate
   more than five miles above the earth
   or reach more than three miles beneath the sea.

   Life is eight miles long.

   You could walk it, and be there before sundown.
   Or swim it, or fall it, or crawl it.)

   The second is told from the point
   of view of the sky.