Stone Alone, Stolen

And it was there, in that little green wood near the thin flowing creek, that I found my little lonely stone. 

The only stone within view that did not rest beside its comrades. By anything, really. Sure when you looked at it, it sat there, on the ground. And one could say this was near the creek, or that it was near the road. 

But it was neither of these things. It was by and beside nothing at all. The little lonely stone sat nearest to nothing at all. It simply sat. 

I felt a sort of sadness, then. A deep one, familiar and odd. 

So, I took it. I picked it up between three fingers and one thumb. I felt it’s smoothness, with one little crevasse on it’s side. I believe the left side–it has not yet deigned to tell me, but that is what I think. 

The weight of it was nothing at all, and yet everything all at once. Picking it up meant that I had changed things. I had removed this stone from its perfectly alone place. Perhaps, this would be my crime. Before all else, this was what went wrong. 

But for the time being, I had no knowledge of such things. All I could tell for sure was that the stone was no longer alone. It was in my hand, and a new weight began to settle. The weight of decency, and of doubt. The weight that comes with making a decision in a single moment, making it with sound mind and beating heart, and knowing that there are ways in which these sorts of decisions stay with us. 

I knew now, as one who had abolished the loneliness of the stone, that I was responsible for it. Like a mother in some ways, but not really. A mother knows instinctively. She is given reassurance, by her blood and by her breath, that this is the right thing to do(most times, anyway). When you are not so tied to that which you are holding, it is different. You worry. You worry that you are not the right one for such a task, that perhaps someone better might have been just two or ten steps behind. 

Such is the way of things. 

As it was, I had made my decision, and so I carried it out. The stone found a home in my pocket. Cloth and residue, the constant warmth of my leg as it traveled or rested or wondered. My leg, that is. For the stone I could not say. If this was travel, it would see wear. If it were rest, perhaps it would awaken a brighter gray. 

But the stone knew none of these things. Though, I did feel for a moment that perhaps, of all the stones in the world, this one wondered. 

As I made my way back along the path, passing birdsong and willowspit, I felt each angle of the dirt beneath my feet. “Careful, careful,” I whispered to the earth. Precious cargo, I thought silently, nodding the notion to the soil. 

I was always one to believe I came from soil. There was not much evidence otherwise, and so I took this belief and I made it one of the 57 beats of my heart. I left it there, exposing my chest to the sun, to see if anything would germinate. All that sprouted then was knowledge of things lacking. 

So many of us have holes. They are often in the heart, but for me it is not so. I think that my heart has never needed much. It is only as it is, and there are not many like that. My holes are in my stomach, because that is where laughter lives. In all parts of me, I wished to know what it felt like, to have that patched up. To feel the weight of something fall to the pit of my stomach and bounce back out full force, without my expectation or even my allowance. 

I wonder if laughter is crime, to one who seeks to only express and ingest what they explicitly allow. 

I peered apologetically at my pocket. I knew my thoughts were many and loud, some even voiced. The stone likely knew only the flowing of the thin creek, the swaying of dark wood and gentle leaf. 

Wishing not to overstimulate, I took a breath. Yes there is soil, okay. Yes it is beneath me, okay. There are steps to take and they are many, okay. I will take them and then they will have been taken, okay. 

My mind cleared, my path set, I walked. I walked in a way that felt like an attempt at respect, failing blindly. To attempt the peace of a stone, let alone one so lonely as this, is a folly of what I assume to be a laughable magnitude. 

As I traveled and the stone sat, I wondered where the sun was. After so many steps it seemed to have moved far and away from me. I liked that about it. Constant, in its abandonment and return. Yes it leaves, but it always comes back. I hate the leaving but I love an arrival. So I am cursed to love the sun evermore, beyond sight and rationale and breakfast on a mountaintop. All of these things, far, far beyond. My love for the sun reaches around the whole of our planet and back again, letting every last being know that I adore her most. 

It is nice because it is invisible. I can be sure of it, because no one can touch it. 

I thought that maybe I could share that. Only with my little lonely stone and no one else. 

Forever.

Of Feelings Who Live, Flying

Sometimes, poetry is not enough. There are so many words. I hate to crowd the poems with them. I know they enjoy their precision.

So a letter, then. Not penned but, felt, at least.

There are a great few people I become instantly bonded with. Often it takes time, or effort, or circumstance. Context, by another name. There must be an addition for any equation to occur at all.

But then there are the magical ones. Those beings slightly-to-wholly outside this natural realm. Instantaneous. Ratified. Deified.

And so you too, joined their ranks.

It was like speaking to a spirit of the forest, who had decided to stop by and compliment a poem of mine. The breeze of happenstance guiding my words to your limbs. Weeks later, I wanted more of that reaction, and you said you had felt that we would speak that night.

From this moment I think, we created our space. Any and all thoughts could be shared and no judgement passed.

It was then that I adored you. And, for a time, you adored me as well.

It pains me to skip over so much of that. The photos and the voice notes. The reassurance, and the understood silence. The songs, dear love the songs…you had told me, no music had come to you as of late. And so I sent along a favorite, and then any new melody to grace me that carried a piece of you with it. I returned them to you, and you received them with warmth.

Which is odd for you, as you will often say. The warmth expressed from such a cold girl. One who derives her poems from the sun, rather than the moon as with many of us poets. It is because you are truly so bright, yet deep within you is the river of time. You know the cold and distant truth of the sun’s eventuality. The last light, the final loneliness. The cold of a star unborn. This is the chill, living within you. Knowledge, deep and unbound by knowing itself.

I would go on to meet you. It would begin with the greatest magic. The sharing that caused you such impatience, the closeness I had craved. A perfect weekend. One which i think, for a time, neither of us desired to end.

“I am worried,” you said, “that when I leave here, I will leave you emotionally as well.”

It sent me into a panic. I was not able to be myself any longer, for you had touched the very fear that grips me most of any. That of abandonment. Which is another bond of ours—my being abandoned, your abandoning. Both of us, afraid. Both hurt.

“It hurts me too.”

You say that you cannot reciprocate. For a spell, a small and aching spell, this was untrue. For you did, dearest doe. You said you felt it toward me too, though you were confused by it. More than that you expressed it so firmly.

“Send me a picture of your breakfast tomorrow. Even if it is not pretty, okay?”

Seven words. So many sevens of words.

I think you thought there was possibility, then.

Now I am here. An undertone of apprehension with each day that passes. Wondering if it will be the last of your words, your “heart” reactions to messages, photos, videos.

It helped that I became angry. At your acceptance of another’s arms after departing me. Anger intrigues you. As did the first time you missed me. As if intrigue is the closest you can get.

I do not know what will come, as the days pass. The cold turns to warm turns to cold. I do not know if your nature will ever have you back in my arms, in my home(ah, but let us not speak of home, for it makes me pine for you all the more), on our bench.

I have continued in my own way. To express my feelings and my beauty to you. You have pulled back, certainly. Feeling most close when there is a bit of that warm poison coursing through you.

Ah, and i look at the mountains now. How i would love to see your eyes upon them. How i would love to take you dancing. To have you, too, read *my* favorite book.

To reciprocate.

As it has been established twice over now, emotions have their own little lives, and should be allowed to fly free. So I have let my own, and they have, dearest doe. They do not bring back heartening messages from their journey to you, but they do fly. Despite their tears they are joyous to fly. It is enough for them, to be free.

For them. But I am greedy.

I remember your dancing eyes when you asked how long you should stay. “When should I leave,” were your words. But your eyes. “Shall I leave now? Or never?” Asking me as much as they were asking you. But not just you. The deep nature of you.

“Is this, home?”

Though fear is something I enjoy to face, this one is something new. I am allowed to feel as I feel, with the “knowledge” that you will never return it. With the knowledge that you did, shortly. The knowledge that there are pieces of you who want to. That the whole of you is overly capable.

How? I do not know. As said within an unsent poem—“i do not know these things/I just feel them.”

“If today is the last,” I will often steel myself, “then so be it. We will have shared beauty, and we will have enjoyed it.” Sometimes it works. Sometimes.

I feel the distance of you these days so strongly that it pains to acknowledge. But perhaps that is the lesson for me. That I must, i simply must acknowledge these things when I feel them. Not avoid them for fear of their existence. For they will exist all the same.

In my heart I have hope, though. And you were right. You cannot tell me how to hope. I shall do so of my own accord. Sharing our space. Sending you words. Missing you. Tempting you with snowfall. Until at last you return to me.

And hey—that, i think….a return? That would be something new for the both of us.

Attempting Growth

Run away from the riptide

bursting forth and threatening

every inch of air between

you and your next victimless breath.

——————————————————-

Collide; force down the guilt

your gullet, reminiscing as the flavor

familiarizes your stomach bacteria

with long gone, haunted microbes.

——————————————————-

Five years from this broken vessel

you’ll wonder why anyone ever doubts

the seed as it crests moons

long left shattered under toe.