in my pocket

I’m emptying my pocket of pebbles;

they’ve been there for far too long.

My fingers slip into the opening,

like a glove, and the fabric of my pants

feel alien yet soft and inviting.


My fingers differentiate each rock

by their size, shape, and texture.

By feel, I wrap my fingers around one

and bring them out into the light of day

and cast it into the wind.


There goes the one who never calls.


My hand is back in my pocket

and I quickly recognise the rock

that stepped on my face.

I throw that behind me and I don’t look back.


Again and again,

I take each stone,

and with a strong grip

and a flash of memory

I hurl it as far as I can shout.


There goes the one who didn’t know.

There goes the one who lied.

The one that wore another face,

I dropped that one on the ground

and kicked it into a creek.

The one who was already attached

and the one who made me but a third of four

I smash them together until they turn to dust

and scatter the powder to the wind.

They really belong together.


I fumble into my pocket

and find the last pebble there.

This I will not throw:

the one I have yet to meet,

whom I’ve lost and found again;

This rock rolls away

when I drop it

but it rolls right back

when I think it’s gone.


I’ll hold it close to my chest

and whisper words in the language of stone,

and I open my mouth

and swallow it.


This pebble should not be in my pocket.

What if I lose it when I go naked

bathing in the light of the full moon

or when I go and swim the depths

of the ocean?


No, this pebble I shall keep inside:

below the heart and above the gut;

where all precious stones belong.



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