The questions, as always: which rocks to ignore, who will
place them, and how to defy the laws of mathematics.
Note: you will create two separate walls to build one.
You will measure length and depth. You will weigh consequence.
Dig a shallow trench, and set your first two foundation stones
at a slight angle, high points on the outside, low ends meeting
in the middle. Count your failures and multiply them by 100.
Let gravity share the burden, then discard every one. Take
care in selecting your stones. Scorpions lurk in the dark,
underneath. Wear heavy gloves. Use leverage. Seek balance.
Avoid the smooth and rounded, as they too readily relinquish
their footing. Select hard-angled, rough pieces. Accept
faults, and work with them. Stack carefully — the two walls
should lean inward, touching, each bearing the other’s
weight. Work alone, but think to the future, with strength in
mind. Be deliberate. One stone, followed by another. Repeat.
“Katharsis” was drafted during the August 2015 Tupelo Press 30/30 Project. Many thanks to Plain Jane who sponsored and provided the title.