Strata

I lay a palm on a wall of quartzite,
red, unhewn and beckoning my lips
to count the strata, number each
compression from heel to nail,
down below the rooted fissure,
up above the quiet smirk of a creek –
one hundred.

And as I drag my eyes upward,
to where the scrub oak and juniper
mangle an ash blue sky I am taken.

I am taken there beneath my palm,
pressed metamorphic on rock,
to become a thin bent line,
hardly a hair’s breadth,
nary a bone remains,
beneath the heat and pressures
of grass, trees and all things –
all things crushed after me –
all things reordered and tendered.

Image: Mateusz Buda on Unsplash

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