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.