Pyramid

Jack Jung

I’m waiting for the next version


Of my personality, the one no longer


In awe, the way I was the last time we spoke


When you were at the base of the highest mountains


Of this world—this world where there are no words to describe


The poems you texted me, the ones I asked for


You to keep to yourself. But you still pushed the lines


From your black mirror to mine,


A method too cutting-edge for my heart.


Moments before they arrived something even more


Miraculous had happened: the photographs


Of your window with a view of jumbled rooftops


Connected by what seemed like laundry lines


Adorned with flags of many nations


Almost fully swallowed up by grey mist


Brightening my screen, hiding my reflection.


If we could have stayed on the line longer


Without the drama—of how I was fooled into reading


An ex-lover’s love with a new lover—we could have


Pretended to be oblivious to what happened


And I would have told you everything


About a theory one of my teachers had


To explain the mountains you were living under.


He believed the highest peak


Was the uppermost reach of an ancient civilization,


A structure buried beneath forever snow,


A pyramid without a signature,


The strongest triangle. Pointing at something like


When I pointed out Sirius to you the night


We lay flat next to each other in the middle


Of an asphalt pavement that was so freshly made


That no lines had yet been drawn, and I—


I was trying to be strong.


Like how I am trying now to believe


That this is not about the poems


I got from someone who wrote them


For someone else.


No one ever made it down from the peak


After the mist swallowed them, taking the star


Of their return from their eyes.


Perhaps the ancients made the words


I needed but they kept them to themselves


Like how the mountaintops


Hid from the frames of your window.

About the Author

Jack Jung is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Truman Capote Fellow. His translations of Korean poet Yi Sang’s poetry and prose are published in Yi Sang: Selected Works by Wave Books. He currently teaches at Davidson College.