Origins of the Collection

by Christina Pugh

From one stone came a collection of stones—
oblong planets with their own moons and
sunspots. Some were freckled, running
Saturn’s rings around in mottled blacks
and pinkish gray. But before all that
came the first stone in shocking white—
like tibia bones, but whiter than I’d ever
guessed a skeleton could be. How clean,
then, is my own? Could it glow like
radium in the dark? Maybe Moby
Dick was a skeleton turned inside-out.
But this stone’s a tranquil whale that
musters no resistance if you pick it up.
Stroke it, and your hand’s on much
too smooth of a ride. No blowhole.
No lingua. No franchise. Just fluted
astro-stillness never muddied by a lichen.
Everything maculate abandoned
at the watermark. Blankness yearning
for the company of crowds.

Last updated April 06, 2023