Climbing

By Jonathan Koven

On the crags
of cinnabar skeleton,
rocks destined for the end,
sky-plaque pearls over 
my palms, and I wish,
I wish it all to stay.

The world, the green world is
aging but seems
perfect watching
the partridge dance, wings striping
as grace notes
before red blizzard.

Cool, clouds
cut over
shoulders;
body as stanza,
and the mountain
a page turning fast,
too fast.

Shut my eyes to
watch my beating,
beating heart,
like blush in shadow, loaning,
in moments knowing
a value undefinable.

Spirits flock and
depart, wholeness and
separation; perhaps, perhaps
I flit as fledgling,
part of yesterday, already
waning—a waned dream.

Leap, leap angelic
sky borne back to
trillion-trillion currents,
and here I imagine
a summit grows higher,
the direction we all flow.


Jonathan Koven grew up on Long Island, NY, embraced by tree-speak, tide’s rush, and the love and support of his family. He holds a BA in Literature, and Creative Writing from American University, works as a technical writer and is Toho Journal’s head fiction editor and workshop coordinator. He lives in Philadelphia with his best friend and future wife Delana and cats Peanut Butter and Keebler. Credits include Lindenwood Review, Night Picnic, Iris Literary, and more. His debut chapbook Palm Lines is available from Toho Publishing. His award-winning novella Below Torrential Hill is expected winter 2021 from Electric Eclectic.

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