Origin of the Mountain

Donika Kelly

All the women are mountains, and so I am a mountain.

See how I’ve pushed into the sky? See what rooks I’ve become?

See, when I say love I mean stone, though we both cut the heavens,

and stone can’t mean love unless some grander magic

returns us to each other.

This is how a mountain dreams, remembers being more than earth

pushed from earth, recalls the small difference between rock and bone, remembers

how small the body can feel against itself and, dreaming, misses,

for a moment, the thin air across its face, a falling cloud, and then the sun.

Donika Kelly is the author of the chapbook Aviarium (fivehundred places) and the full-length collections The Renunciations (forthcoming, Graywolf Press) and Bestiary (Graywolf Press), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/ Wright Legacy Award for Poetry, and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and member of the collective Poets at the End of the World. She currently lives in Iowa City and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches creative writing.