Conceive of two corollaries peaking to paradox,

one uphill, one down,

this way to wisdom, that way to desire,

level at the apex, quiet and still


Conceive of the park where you and I meet,

of the days we circle the dial

Conceive of two reasons for never meeting again,

both valid, both lies,

of two seasons so bitter our memories keeping howling

If you could have said what you wanted to say,

if I could have done what I wanted to do,

that morning, that midnight


Think again of both extremes and choose

how you could have moved without gravity’s grip

if no one had given you directions,

and you, so young, so willing


If I could free fall to the beginning,

if you didn’t need to foresee the end,

I might undress you so hungrily

your stockings would tear,

you might phone to pant, “I need you,”

and I would come


If we could say what shouldn’t be said,

do what shouldn’t be done,

you might turn from a sunrise,

I would recast my downhill stride,

not afterthought, not whimsy


Imagine more choices than two,

imagine no need to choose,

desire pushing downhill

straining flesh to a howl,

wisdom sitting us down to dream



If you didn’t have to choose;

if I decided to stop,

if we stopped short of the pinnacle,

walked jokingly over its crest,

you might reconsider, I might relent


If running uphill leads to fortitude and strength,

running downhill may have no purpose at all,

except exhilaration, except the joy of flight