Harmony Button

Lessons From Mountains

The mountain doesn’t care how you are feeling.
The mountain is a mountain with wide teeth
and gentle tongue.

The mountain is a mouth that’s always teething,
molars cropping out from saddle jawbones,
forest gums.

The mountain is monastery full of cricket monks:
a frenzy of tranquility. At dusk they’re chanting up a storm
of frost and peace.

When the mountain lets you, look into its ribcage:
the thin bones of aspens rise and fall around the lungs
of steepest hillsides.

You’re never a real member of the mountain
until you make a little trickle in the dirt: you are
another animal at night.

The mountain is a mouth that sucks the thumb
of the full moon. The moon is thick
as mountain in your mouth.

The mountain grows a fist of juniper and gives
the finger to the big dipper. The mountain’s finger
is your northern star.


Harmony Button’s work has been included in Best American Notable Essays of 2015, she has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Web awards, and she was awarded the Larry Levis Prize (Academy of American Poets). Her work has appeared in journals such as Adirondack Review, Colorado Review, Chicago Quarterly, Southwestern American Lit, Cobalt, Rock & Sling, Bayou and Drafthorse. Find more at http://www.harmonybutton.com.