Eyes fixed, measured breathing, strident stride. Ahead a blue shirt and red shorts Behind two women wrapped in gortex (We are not the same though here almost) Whom I have passed but may again pass me; They are from another country Which also is part of the race; And yet all around such country That isn't part of it at all, But then I must keep my mind on the trail Ahead red shorts women behind and the pass To which it all leads carrying us along. And then we are there all at once It seems, a knot of smiling fools Chugging electrolytes dry fruit and air Singing drunkenly to one another Of trivialities - pulse, training, how few ahead But many behind, pushing boulders uphill And absurdities - mythiphus Sisyphus Ourselves at all in all of this. While opening before us and all around us Such country Without circumference beginning or end Center everywhere there to then Granite to plasma singularity to stars And on to infinity and maybe back again And I, as if Having been lulled to self by too many switchbacks, Am suddenly hurled into a Bach fugue Snuffed out between exposition and development Where individual voices fade into divinity; Or am heaved like Balboa (Though I have not committed natives to the dogs Nor stuffed myself with gluttonous visions Of rank and gold, I have thus used this path) Atop a peak in Darien Where purged palsied and hollow He stood silent before the Pacific. Still following my descent (And this is the wisdom which keeps us here) I may search for gold along the roadside, Look occasionally in the rearview mirror, Always the dogs are running.