Flesh to Stone

Flesh to Stone

Says K. in The Trial, “Like a dog!” and the stone
feels cool against his cheek until his blood spills over it.

Let us be clear: the average stone is a many-veined
cranium with as much blood and occasionally eye-pits.

Summer of 1996 I sunk a skipping stone in the Mississippi;
it’s still there, leaning into the current, a clean cut.

Soapstone in the bed of a brokedown 1983 Ford Ranger:
stone a million years old and—look—still going!

I have come to accept that I envy the centers of worlds,
that, dense as stone, I spin endlessly upon myself.

And here I sit, head spinning like a bar stool, stone
drunk at the peak of pity. Each tear a pebble at my feet.

by Ryan Dowling