Issue 99, Spring 1986
The hardest part is the way the knot at the base of the neck tightens.
There’s a whole body here to hold up the head but this time
you are tired and you want to lie down. Never would a gesture
mean so much.
The change is subtler than you expect. You were hoping
for a circus, a pony-ride, the high trapeze.
You wanted a presence,
the sudden rush of arrival. The hardest part comes now,
this discovery of more radical needs than food and shelter.
How to say it? There’s hell to pay this time and you know
you’ll take anything that’s offered.
Lately you’ve had to develop new uses for your college education.
Perhaps you had the wrong major after all, should have stayed in botany
scooping algae out of the river, scraping moss from bark, mastering
the small details of other life forms.
There were so many uses for geological science. There was
such possibility you thought, so many secrets.
It would have been nice
to read the weather with some intelligence, to know a mackerel sky
when you see one.
I know this much:
nothing sufficient has yet been said about stone:
its weight, its mass, its edge,
its impact on bone.