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A Rock

I picked up a rock yesterday
Just when we were clearing the road
An odd gravel, nothing more
Feeling secretive, I held it,
close in my palm
They’d make me put it down, of course...

I brought it home, left it by the sink
I’d clean it after the potatoes,
no one would notice
Dirt and leaves fall like scabs
and dyed the porcelain a sandy tan
A touch from a mummified hand

I wrapped it in a towel and carried it
to my bedroom, left beneath my bed
among slippers and heavy sweaters
It didn’t shine; it wasn’t smooth,
but I planned on nature taking over
At the time, I feel twelve.

I lay in bed, contemplating the ceiling
painted in broad white rolls,
yet jagged like the Moon
Everything above the roof was so far away,
most of all Heaven,
which I don't believe in anyway

I draped my arm over the edge of the bed,
reaching under for my stone of ages,
a safe for recent times
It knew my thoughts and feelings
It eroded itself with my life
A sick acid, biting inferno

I held the rock up to my ear and listened
as if it were a seashell that sang
but its secrets stayed locked up
Had it heard my outpourings?
It's a rock, stupid, a rock.  Cold.
I put it under my pillow.

I close my eyes and wash again
collecting dirt along my way
for my cleansing stone
Dirt on sheets is inconsequential
Worse things stain me daily
but I manage to keep one thing clean.

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