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Passing the Buddha on the Way Up

The mist enrobed limbs, boulders, spread
slowly up, snagged by our open mouths

and we portered it down again, losing some as we laughed, passing
that arbutus we passed on the way up, its red arms lifted above the path

as we zigzagged down, plaiting the muddy strand between us
and guessing at the names for plants we

startled on the way up, when we dared not speak but instead
pointed, out breath separate clouds that rose into fog

and we portered it down again, losing some as we laughed
at the thought that silence is more suitable for a mountain.