Coyote on West Mountain

The gut pile of a deer got new life, moving skyward. A coyote moved it there—in his belly—to the mountaintop. I’d seen the dog through the sight of my bazooka, but I missed and blew the mountain into two.

East Mountain screamed, a conjoined twin released, and West Mountain wished it the best. East Mountain, Left Mountain, depending where you stand, threw parties—calling rich gas men and broke saws to come over to get drunk, light dynamite, and run. East Mountain went balder faster and West mountain maintained its lush top, traded stories for foliage locks and forged keys to trap doors from stone. A stream ran between them.

No memories for West Mountain (Right Mountain, depending where you stand) but one: The coyote who came back with a boombox strapped over its hackles and antlers tied to its head with twine.

This time I didn’t hope to kill him. He was faster now and the township took my guns from me. He began at the stream and climbed up the tree line like rolling light. He got to the top and stopped. He sat. I hoped I’d hear him howl, but the boombox rang out instead. A song of strings and children’s choirs pitched down to the key of a drug deal gone bad.

Then the deer returned. He took his antlers and snapped them back into his skull in Two Easy Steps. He leapt from the west mountainside, knowing the coyote would give chase. But the coyote kept himself at bay. He sat, orchestra still tied to his back, waiting on the peak of west mountain, waiting to be blown to bits and spread like seed.  

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