Sightlines

 

We’ll have to shear off the tops of those trees

if they continue to block my view

of the mountain. Not only our trees

but the neighbors’ as well. Find some

daredevil to fly a helicopter upside

down over the neighborhood

and give it a good haircut.

It’s America, people will do anything.

And my sightline is sacrosanct.

I need to see that peak floating

like Fuji, not just know it’s there.

So I can orient my immaterial

longings, my desire to transcend

earthly limitations. I can’t be

expected to pray to something

half obscured by these lesser gods

etching themselves into the evening air,

performing their fantastic

collaborations with the wind, keeping

or dropping their needles or leaves,

subject as they are to time and change.

What can they teach me about how to be?

 

–John Brehm, from No Day at the Beach.

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