YOU WERE A MOUNTAIN
We had taken a trip to the mountains, which was where you were from. Everything about you was mountainous. Everything about you said “from the mountains.” Such silence and cold there. Above us, sky. We were hiking. I was getting tired but we kept on hiking.
Jesus, I complained. How about a rest, where’s somewhere we can rest?
We can stop if you want to, you said.
No... I said.
Finally we got to the summit. Finally we could rest. I looked at the rocks below. Then was the trip back down. By the time we got back it was night. The sky was a strange color orange, like rust, and I remember how the stars looked different too, blurry, pulsing and close.
That night, in the cabin, you slept turned toward some unknown other thing. You slept like that a lot. The way you slept spoke of other people, people who were more like you than me. I didn’t understand them. Sometimes I met them, on the street. They’d make me angry, and then sad. They were so oblivious. It was in their brows, their shoes.
I thought of this and thought of your spine, and your posture, your full, pale ass. Everything of you I couldn’t see when I was thinking of that ass.
Once, when I was looking at you like this, you woke up, as if on cue. You had a wild, questioning look.
James Yeh, You Were a Mountain
American, b. 1982, playing from Brooklyn, NY, USA
James Yeh (b. 1982 in Anderson, South Carolina) is a writer, editor, and occasional DJ. His fiction has appeared in NOON, VICE, BOMB Magazine, Tank Magazine, Tin House, Fence, and elsewhere. A recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Columbia University, he was a Center for Fiction New York City Emerging Writers Fellow in 2011. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he coedits Gigantic and is at work on a novel. Find him online at jamesyeh.com or https://twitter.com/jamesyeh.