Advice to Erin’s Would-be Lover

Her therapist took up geology.
Now he stops at transverse cuts on highways,
examines sediments laid down in the
Ordovican and Devonian ages,
taps hammer looking for faults,
fissures, cracks; finds none.

She is rock.

From time to time he encounters fossils,
strange and wonderful creatures
from earlier times,
scarcely imaginable today
peculiar but beautiful.
Now the black shadows of their forms,
elegance crushed by time and pressure,
lie in his hand, heavy and cold.

His eyes wander over
the red marl of her menstrual cycle,
seeking her underlying anthracite,
the hot white anger
that gets her through the rough days.
He finds lignite instead,
burning hot and smoky,
obscuring more than it reveals.

Geology is descriptive. She will not change,
not in his lifetime. Landslides
are ephemeral; she is rock,
and rock does not change in mortal time.

But you…
You must be the alchemist,
applying pressure and heat in the subtle way,
beginning the Great Work.
She is rock, yes,
but rock is worked upon
with heat and pressure,
water and hope.

Fissures, invisible to the
geologist’s hammer
are open to droplets of
water and salt,
neutralizing forces
that wear down rock,
transform it,
metamorphize it.

Your hands bear heat and pressure,
your kisses will be water on hard stone
Rock does not return these things.
It lives in the slow long consciousness
You will have to wait,
patient as the alchemist is patient.

Not too quickly,
but in the proper time,
take up in your cool hand
the pale gray stone of her heart,
and crack it like a geode.
Within, you will find,
strange and beautiful,
the last living trilobyte
in the world.


This came to me all at once on the drive home from the Worcester Regional Youth Slam. It needs a little work, maybe; but not too much, I think.

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