Debris Field – Poem.

Debris Field

This is how we conquer
the mountain, bottle
by bottle, leaving a trail

of leftovers, transforming
our glory into another little shitpile,
a littered barometer of hubris.

Leaving even our bodies
behind, stiff as frozen dinners, foiled
by the basest of elements:

moisture in the air, a monsoon
wind, a thunder of shifting snow.

Maybe the Goddess will wake

and birth an avalanche
from her forehead, wipe away
our little cluster of culprits,

or perhaps the crevasse
will grind us with its icy
teeth, sift the bone-ash back

to a lower glacier – where a team
of Nepalese environmentalists
can collect it with the rest

of what the mountain rejected –

transparent water bottles, prayer
flags that never reached
the peak, the shreds

of winded tents, oxygen tanks
in jellybean colors collecting
on the mountainside

like confections on a theater floor
after midnight’s show.

I originally read the term “debris field” in relation to space waste – human junk orbiting the earth such as satellites and spent rocket stages. But when I tried to write a poem about it, this is what came out instead.