North Diamond Peak

Somewhere, there is a summit. Somewhere, a bed of diamonds. Somewhere, a father back from the mines and telling his boy, Give her enough time, and this coal will turn into diamonds. Somewhere, a boy opening a shoebox each month, hoping each time. Somewhere, a boy running down into a holler filled with smoke and into a house on fire shouting, I’ve got to save our diamonds. These lungs racket with cinder and smoke. Every step a faith in the kicked-out half-steps of the runners who came before, a trust that this tailwind will not turn, that one day that box will be filled with diamonds. Never have I wanted so much not to die, to never look over my shoulder, to keep pressing each heavy leg up this mountain of rock until my mouth fills with sky.