The Climb By Melissa Ostrom

January 11, 2016 Comments Off on The Climb By Melissa Ostrom

By way of walls, where moss mortars stones and up shaggy bark when one limb accommodates the reach, he will rise: the point, not a managed vista, rather the scaling, precarious ascension, test of sinew and animal agility. So when the hair hangs from the window, it need not attach to a face, pretty or otherwise. Perhaps the scientist will pause to part the strands and ascertain humidity, DNA, the warbler shaded and nesting. The prince might frown at its mottled extravagance. The poet may inhale to unearth his childhood.

Braided or disheveled — blond, brown, curling, straight — loosened for the gain of a jealous mother or hung in hopeless grief like a noose in reverse — cascading — jackpot golden, Great Mystery black, signal fire red, or poised desire indescribable: none of this matters.

It suffices the hair is there. Chances are he will just clench this new rope, test it with a jerk (Doesn’t that hurt? What’s your plan, woman? Are you well-anchored?), wrap it around his wrists, and struggle up the tower to see how high he can go, how long his well-made body can hang on for the sake of its own dear life.

© 2015 Melissa Ostrom

Melissa Ostrom lives in rural western New York with her husband and children. She serves as a public school curriculum consultant and teaches English at Genesee Community College. Her fiction has appeared in Monkeybicycle, Lunch Ticket, decomP, Thrice Fiction, Oblong, and elsewhere.

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