Apache Peak in June

arriving near the basin
of the cirque’s bowl

at dawn
peaks and spires

and massive juts
of jagged black rock

the stillness of snow
gushing all around

as if the lower jaw
of a sea dragon

just broke
the surface

the froth seething
among those pointed peaks

even so—

at 13,000 feet

in the middle
of a snow couloir

by the crunch

of ice axe

and trochaic

a lady bug—

a lady bug

a little soul
poised on prismatic ice

before a tarsal claw
clamped another crystal

and another
as if waiting

for a thermal updraft
to parachute

into the vault