Honnold Express

over night everything became urgent
the words weren’t even about my fleeting humanity
they were about something else
something i knew i alone couldn’t save
but i had to try
i had been taught that i had to believe i could succeed
but that wasn’t the truth
i thought we’d probably fail
and that was the strange comfort
i used to psych myself out before interviews
tell myself i didn’t want the job
one time i asked my cousin if he’d stop looking at my cards during a game of poker
he was sitting out
you fold under pressure huh he said
it was half true
i felt i could do anything
but if i thought about the stakes it would swallow me whole
the stakes are always high i think
in a world where everything can be devastatingly loud or painfully silent
everything mattered
i seem to surround myself with nihilists
maybe if nothing else just to remind me of the alternative
so what now

there’s this man who freeclimbs these incredible rock walls
hundreds of feet up
no harness
crazy muscles developed in his fingertips
they ask him
what do you do when you get scared?
you can’t
he says
you just can’t
there is no fear

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Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

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