Small Stone                                                                                    2nd place winner of the Reuben Rose Poetry Competition, 2021

 

I have no idea where you came from

or why I didn’t think of this before:

how grief has forced me to become the other—the thing—

 

white dolomite, coarsely crystalline,

pleated through with gray.

I don’t mind gray; I am grayer now too.

 

My body all sharp points, broken crests, 

shaped into jagged angles. Without him,

I am both primitive and new.

 

Stone, I don’t know where my beloved found you 

but know where I am taking you.

In July when the air is too moist for movement,

 

I will move with you anyway toward

his headstone, place you on its crest with certainty.

What does certainty have to do with death? Or stones?

 

I want to fill myself 

with something he touched—an assurance of atoms—

as if I could become that tap or trace or air between them. 

 

Stone, if I eat you, will you become 

perfect wisdom inside of me? 

How does a thing vanish?

 

I don’t know, but you my stone 

blotched through with agreeable gray,

won’t petal-drop or fade away,

 

even when I am lost or becoming.

Listen to the poem being read HERE.