the elements of stone

after the winds, a barren mouth canyon. the sediment
shale, and sand that is mostly quartz, the most common of minerals
and, too, the most resilient. quartz that can be reduced to minuteness and still remain, sifted through the fingers, under the backs of nakedness, thousands of chemical bonds searing in the sun – rock
in layers like crushing peat to coal, like finely saturated clay, the mud on the bottom, the strength of below the surface.

there is more oxygen in the ground we walk upon than the air we breathe.

she says, but what can i cultivate from this?

imagine growth where there is no oxygen, no place for man.

but still, she says, palms upward, sunlight downward, what of it now?

when the rocks shift, they create more, a secondary nature, a new thing to call by name.

and how, her dress folding between her legs the white of her skin pale in nature, can we come to know more than this? how does a rock speak. what does a rock have to say? can it hold me? does it cradle me while i need for sleep? does it share secrets? what language does a rock speak?

igneous means born of fire so that rock is both fire and earth. it does not exist without others, it cannot exist without heat, pressure, water, dirt. it sculpts the sky, it gives texture to vastness.

yes surely, this is familiar, surely this i know. but -, she says, but –

the thinnest stream is considered overland flow; water with no place to land. it can sit stagnant but a river moves, carving place from stone, a canyon of rock succumbing to the nature of water and but there are thousands of years before a river exists.

so small, this pebble, could it be anything does it fit here this shard this pebble, is it a window? does it belong? she has crossed her legs, she is saying but looking down

underwater is still above land where lava cools and crystals form, the fish swim by and the water moves on. it is the water that carries the sediment, the journey of becoming rock, the need for still places, a calmness to land.

exhaustion, she says, i feel exhaustion. she is laying down, trees bent into consonants, sun cubed between branches. there is so much too much to know –

the biography more than four billion years old; this is the writing of stone.

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