poem by Dave Morrison

(for Alex Honnold)

Force a finger into a fissure
one digit deep, not even,
the amount of finger pad it
takes to ring a doorbell
now steadies you against a
hard wall that looks and feels
like a massive tombstone, suspends
you above a vision straight out
of a dream, world with no bottom,
senses singing like a taut wire, there
is nothing but this crack, this
thumb-sized stub, the soft tug of the
chalk bag, there is no triumphant
conclusion, no hauling yourself
to the miraculous top, there is
no whistling wind and broken
doll death, there is only the
next step, the next finger-hold,
the next two feet, the sun
sparkling on the specks of