Zach King-Smith

three poems

The Patient Mountain

Renee and I sat
on the bed holding
each other after
my long absence
& I talked about
the trip in partial
detail-save some
sentimentally and

I was trying
to be objective
in my account
of it all to her
but I’ve never
been able to
observe things
without opinion
or some kind of feeling.

She told me
how happy she
was that I was
home with her.

I kissed her on
the forehead with
out hesitation then
I remembered the
mountain I was
on in Gatlinburg

That damn
mountain that was
unknowing & unforgiving
reached toward
eternity with a vast
hugeness no one but
it the mountain
could understand
waiting for something
that no one but it
I could understand

I thought to myself
waiting for what?
it’s just a damn
mountain that
truncated the land
for miles up into
the sky.

Nothing is worth
waiting for an
eternity to be
had; Give
up if you find
yourself on
that damn mountain
waiting with it

Only the mountain
can weather the storm
of eternity.

Tibetan Prayer Flags

A string of tibetan prayer
flags hang above my bed
waving so gently in a pre-dawn
breeze but this morning i
cannot sleep.

Even the dalai lama
is in exile.
i cannot sleep
under the false
pretenses of prayer.


I saw an old man
who liked a lot like
an old dead writer
that I admire on
the train tonight
& he was the conductor
on a ghost train that
traveled right through
my brain.

Scrambling sentences
that he wrote
in various flophouses
in Los Angeles and
New Orleans

I couldn’t discern
from which with the
general confusion
that distorted my
perception with
despair and sadness.

He had the most
tragic yet warming
eyes I have ever

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