A tangerine and lavender dawn bleeds across the horizon and
I drop my hiking pack on the cold, rocky ledge.
My breath rasps cold and jagged down my throat,
Much like breathing in a piece of amethyst,
Depositing it into the quarry of my oxygen-starved lungs.
The air at this altitude is shallow, lacking nourishment,
Much like the education that inebriated me
Throughout my formulaic youth.
Every facet of my life had been fastidiously polished
With superficial pageantry and public praise.
Until I became a ghostly reflection
Of the studio lights that shone on me.
Condensation swirls from my lips now,
As if a few society’s expectations
Escapes with each exhale.
Alone at the summit,
I am sober.
There is no intoxicating high of over-proof self-worth,
Only a calm, pure proof spirit.
I sit cross-legged on the cold, rocky ledge.
Admire the bruises blossoming on my shins.
Much like purple merit badges bestowed from the mountain.