Here, we look up at the mountains. We see their arching pains. Bending into the earth. Deep within it. Sinking and rising with the pulse of the tectonic. Cities rise and fall and rise and fall as these mountains watch on. A new world emerges and reshapes the landscape.

Ink on the topography map. Blisters on the globe. The mountains meet our fingers and feet. They spread across soil and skin. They leave their mark on us, and we leave our mark on them.

The things we build get in the way. They break the connection. The mountains grow tired. Whisper to their tall friends across the earth. They tell the story of how small we are. The story of beautiful and unique snowflakes that move too fast to appreciate from such great heights. The story of broken photographs and lost potential.

Sick with the sight of tourists finding an angle to crop out the city for social media.  A foreign organ left flat on the gurney, on the hedonic plateau. Many boulders moved in the direction of least resistance, many cracks and breaks from compressed matter, many valleys dipping below the line.

We mock the mountains with our cities. They must suffer the plight of seeing robotic, metal versions of themselves, architected in their shadow to conceal all of their light. At times, maybe they forget about their reflection in the alpine lakes to the north and sag with the weight of disappointment.

The mountains know what it is like to always look down, to hang their head with the exhaustion of extinguished efforts, to be covered in fleas with names and addresses, to be the hill for the ant and the hive for the bee.

Maybe if the mountains could be more rough and ridged, they could shake us off. Maybe if they could be more high and hostile they could freely reach the sky. We put halos of clouds in their hair, but despite us, they continue to rise.

We look up as dreamers, we look down with fear, as the mountains endure our endeavors. They know that we aspire and cower and climb and fall and eat and shit. Their unyielding posture continues to test our fragility. We fight it or we fall. All the while the mountains stand their ground.

It goes on and on into the end. On into the crumbling of centuries. With avalanche and apocalypse. Pouring over the pointed faces of nature’s most dangerous animals. Folding into the wildest of places with all the scars exposed.

It goes on until there is nothing left to block the view of the mountain at its summit, except for distance and time. For those creatures are even more powerful, even more permanent. They are the tools of death.

But the mountains need not worry, as death will find us first.