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