She said stones are capable of thought. They had to be:
any object with sound could think. Something about
the waves trapped inside of rock, memory of time.
Something about rock's metallic viscera. The Japanese
had it right, cultivating a contemplation garden on a bed
of sand fluid as blood, each rock electric as a brain, she said.
Dementia brought out the poet in your mother.
I sit at her side writing down what intrigues her: horses,
because they wear a fifth hoof over the mouth; flashlights,
because they can't keep secrets; and stones.
Lately, even the gravel has been buzzing with collective
thought: death, the last mystery of what has crushed
all else beneath its weight. My mother pities that,
and comforts a stone in one hand. I remember
my own soft fist inside her fingers years ago, when
my mother could roller skate and guide me
through the shaky sidewalk. When she laughed, I imagined
doves in flight, seed puffs escaping through the fence,
and everything else that ascends toward light. My mother
doesn't keep her days of wonder, nights of anguish anymore.
I think fossil, I think watermark, about the stubborn
barnacle that makes a tomb of its home. The woman
next to me is the place of my birth and she will free me
to wander the shifting plates of the planet on my own.
She can leave without me, deaf to my cries, my pleas,
my fear of getting locked out of her house. I must stand
before the apathetic windows. No use knocking on the door.
I think sleeping oyster, think coma, think stone.
Four Way Books
Copyright © 2011 by Rigoberto González
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission