Twin Peaks

                    the volcano
        I’d christened Mont D’Espoir or Mount Despair
                    ‘Crusoe in England’, Elizabeth Bishop

The twin peaks of Mont D’Espoir and Mount Despair
keep changing places and are hard to tell
apart, with their simple binaries of sol y sombra.

Relentless weather treats them both the same
– clouds gather at their summits and disperse.
Sometimes the clouds speak dragonish, and sometimes human.

The twin peaks are made of the selfsame stuff –
a composite of jet and alabaster,
ground down at the same rate by the same blasts.

I built a cabin at the foot of one
though now I’m not sure which of them it was.
Their spires and spurs and spars have merged.

First one seems higher, then the other
but never the one appears without its twin.
Both command the same cheerful, desperate vista.