Hike. by J. W. Burns

Bears hang over garbage cans.
Their pink tongues licking a dry sunrise,
they are the potboilers quaffing attention.
We slap 'em with secret smiles, lace up,

pass beside the river drawing rooms
full of foothills, these stuck in brightening fat.
We wring out sweat, sip, chew, cross
the water, able to walk without moving.

When Coleridge comes, he dances off
his fingertips, tugs the powdery peaks
into his bloodstream. A rumpled magnetic
convection slows the afternoon sun.

The trail closely follows us,
boulders heaving to catch up, trees
spreading the puzzle of their breath.
The city wants us back, slouches

against squandering hearts, twists
burning muscle. Fidgety, the path tunnels
through an expanding universe
while the air comes only to my knees.