Wild Escapes

(Found poem, with lines taken from the last printed issue of Outside magazine, August 2009)

by Katharine Showalter

I MISS THE SLOW, languid lifestyle of the south of France
As its ice cap recedes, all I want to do is survive
The older I get the more I think about making a permanent move
to the Bolivian jungle with a not-long-enough leash.
Aside from activities requiring a wet suit
sandy beaches and sheltered coves,
I do more than than the average guy.
But I definitely need to do more.
There's not much correlation between performance
and the gains you made under a bar.
When you win you don't get a jersey, a trophy, or cash
Especially when there's nothing between you
and your torturous race saddle
but a pair of cotton briefs.
I took a huge hit in the chest.
I'm going to stick with that, it always makes me feel at home

You're congested, sprawly, hot, and flat.
Brash and compassionate, or just plain stupid?
If we could do more of the things we love to do outside . . .
You have to both physically and mentally adapt
If you can swing only one trout rod, make it Winston's,
torpedo smooth and moody
If your arm is in his mouth, it means your head isn't
He gives Veronica a kiss and asks me to move to the Rhino's dusty bed
but it's close to some very good surf
The cats have been relocated to a private game park
The world's 36 species of wild cats
I know this because I watched them on YouTube
Which means that for the price of a Manhattan power lunch
you can practically eat all month.

But which way to the ocean?

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