I climb things, climbed things, out of warm womb,
fresh from first hold into new arms
already breaking, wondering about climbing back up.
I climb things, climbed things, chimneys in a child’s mind
looking for traces of reindeer and reasons
to still believe in faith and family and catching flight.
I climb things, climbed things, out of closets
and their cluttered comforts, out of skins I’d slipped into
to confuse the conscious and the curiosity
of others that could be cruel. Climbing can often cut.
I climb things, climbed things, into beds that didn’t know
any better, mouths that choked and fingers
that felt familiar, for a time, holding me
to ledges of love and lust and the lies in between.
I climb things, climbed things, over waves that didn’t drown
but even the sea comes over you in cycles,
some you win, under others you sink, like losses
and lovers and faith and fate. Sometimes climbs are a descent.
I climb things, I climbed things without ever looking back.
Now, I move forward through backward steps,
through chimneys and out into flight, into folds
and then out further, drawing in trust
and expelling worn waves, blind to coming corners
while studying the method I used to survive the last fall.
All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly