I would have stayed there on the mountain, never left, so straight the ways, so strict the sleeves, so blistered backs of hands and feet described to me. And I had seen their handling of the Dealer. Just as they had shouldered their shotguns, once was enough, no reason now to doubt they would release me from this life into a longer one to come.
But the face Samantha turned to me in dreams, just as it rose over me in the morning, once more each day as the seasons shifted with a restlessness that soon enough become a creaking from my bones, a kind of aching case of rheuma, sharp as Paul’s own pricking thorn impinging newer covenants on me, a graver form of marriage. It seared me night and day, the crystal sphere of it. Shimmering orb so charged with holy might that all who see it grow Mosaic horns.
Then would meat bones be cleaned. Then would meat skins be taken and exchanged for coats of many flames. Only to see God’s city would be joy enough for me. Only to see it once and then what happened to me mattered to me no more than what happened to the parents I had left behind me on the prairie, all those mortal years ago. Where had God driven the days off? Where had God damned the children of the Dealer? Where had they gone, the tonics and horse powders he had brought me on the mountain? Where had gone everything but love of my Samantha?
–Brian Kubarycz, “Over The Mountain”