At the Matterhorn

Is this the over-the-top meteorite
that put the kibosh on the dinosaurs?
For a long time the mountain has stayed put,
mute about its extraterrestrial pedigree,
but we surmise it’s the prehistoric culprit.
It had one big hit. Then…nothing,
but good God that was some blockbuster!
Today mini-tornadoes of snow
do dervish runs—slaloms—downhill:
perhaps wispy memories of its one great day of power.
But today nothing can dent the ferrous will—
Ferris Wheel—of the cold, blue, iron sky.
Like the Virgin it wins this round,
like the Virgin a tower, an impregnable fortress.
Whoever said the Virgin’s malleable?
But we’ve not come here to pray. Who US?
We just like the idea of Mary,
on this our silver wedding anniversary—
twenty-five years unwed in the same bed,
a Midwestern Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
We want—we want to see a mountain goat!
Way way up, a tiny transcendental
little sharp black devil’s horns and hooves
skipping icy rock to rock, like hopscotch.
For truth to tell, we didn’t come here for love.
What’s love got to do with it?
Love that always resembles leopard spots.
The Internet documents goats mating
on six-inch ledges of rock-studded ice. Marvelous!
Our sixth and seventh senses say that one’s eyeing us
right now, even now from behind a grand rock,
an inextinguishable smirk on its pixie face.
The wind whistles a wondrous empty tune,
reminiscent of that wondrous empty tomb
that transfixed an air-headed Mary Magdalene.
We also feel transfixed. We know the goat’s got us
dead in its sights, bull’s eye, right on target.
Our mediocre binoculars roam the cliffs,
defeated by squalls of dry snow flurries.
Nothing like looking through a glass whitely!
We swear the Matterhorn is levitating,
being lifted up by a goat-footed child—
twenty-seven million tons of granite
subservient to the force of a wispy goatee.
Whatever made us think we belong to earth?
Maybe it’s true that faith can move mountains.
The mountain goat on its meteorite:
so safe, so supercilious, and so apt.

—Michael Biehl, San Francisco, CA