This Island Is a Stone
Raking the sand, I leave only the infinite
trickling behind; our first bed bore your
parents’ memories. This one grows weeds. The
heavenly bamboo (a shrub and not a grass)
issues white petals and inedible red fruit. My
fingertip callouses have softened from disuse;
coyotes no longer answer my yips and howls.
Who replies to liars anyway? A snail’s love
dart impales the object of its affection, but
often inconveniently. This is not a metaphor
for bad sex, but a means of transferring an
allohormone. Today the overburdened creeks
erode their banks and 492 seconds after
departing the sun a ray greets my lawn. I snap
the towel at the fly on the door, but miss
again. The once sacred now lies open and
emptied; a few months ago my father could not
remember my birthdate although he recognized
the season. Some totals may never satisfy.
If I collect my life’s accumulated wastings, will
that sum temper me or merely accentuate the
fool? Nothing is as it seems. We mark our
remaining days with unread books. These
waves are plotted creases, this island is a stone.
“This Island Is a Stone” was published in MockingHeart Review in September 2017. I am grateful to editor Clare L. Martin for publishing this piece. As luck has it, I’m reading with Clare and Bessie Senette on Saturday, October 20, at 7:00 p.m. at Malvern Books in Austin.