Single File

Did I choose this narrow
path, or did it choose me? No
matter, here I am climbing

up and around
a bluff to reach a peak
or some plateau

with the better view
ascending. Clusters
of visitors come tumbling

down—I can open my mouth
to greet them, can make room
for their passage without spilling

over
the ledge.
Or not.

Summer heat has reduced the surface
to sand dust. I imagine mud
and dank air

on another day. This panic when looking
down is my descent into anxiety
of loneliness or my anxiety
of influence. I can’t tell

the difference. Will it tell
on me?