Avalanche At Base Camp
Everest is shaking. The highest mountain in the world
has felt too many feet across its spine and throat.
The roaring snow comes not thirty seconds after my friend
finished a cigarette and laughed at a joke about the earth opening up.
I hold onto my phone, and trap the fury behind glass,
as it forces me onto my knees and elbows.
I stand up, tottering like I’ve forgotten how to walk,
cough up snow and grit that has already touched my lungs.
What about the guys we were talking to yesterday,
about altitude sickness and how to make a good cup of tea?
My memories are electrified, painful. I imagine them
underground, locked in a tight, soundless cavern of snow.
Then I imagine them at the top, watching as details
of the land are swallowed up, while trying to get a signal on their phone.
Death is here on the mountain this morning, and he is wearing white