I don’t know anything about the structure of rocks.
Only that I move them
away from where they were
to another location
closer in proximity
to me. Collecting rocks is a habit
backed in desire. I suppose I trust
that my desire is true,
although I have doubted it
as I’ve doubted all sorts of love—
material attachment to objects
and object relations.
Mother for example. First best friend.
The poster from a museum
possessed by gaze and gender
seen in a country
I now call to question, taken
by a photographer, of a model
mid-gesture, combing straight black hair
over white powdered
left shoulder, bare breasts.
A thin instance of stark relation
black white, curve line. My doubt
has caused me to be more discerning,
but not to stop. My eyes scour the shore.
I found one this summer that made me think of you,
pink and bone and speckled with beige and grey.
Then pink again and always a bit yellow,
like the sun, or like your hair
which is a thing as you know,
in and of itself
something that tells people
something about your town.
In the discernment era
of rock pick up
I look closely to decide
if the rock I’ve chosen will speak itself
when dried and dried completely.
(Unlike my snails it won’t smell.)
I doubt my new method,
as I have doubted so many loves.
The rock may be dull—
yours is the love altar.
It’s oblong. It’s unlike rocks
I usually collect
vaguely resembling a heart.