The thing about stones is
they are only about time.
Time to take their shape
time for a hole to form,
the time I was walking on the beach or river path
and found them.
From what I understand,
the holes can mean something was there and is gone,
the stone was in the way of a particularly torturous drop of water.
That is a story only the stone can tell,
but either way, something was lost.
Someone tells me such stones are talismans,
protection against loss. Well,
I don’t buy it.
The stone is witness and proof against it.
My parents would sometimes find me adder stones
in their American travels.
They didn’t protect against the loss of my father
and the drip drip of time that made the hole he fell into.
That is too much to expect of a stone, or anything
for that matter.
My stones are only about time:
not eternity, but memory,
around the hole
left by loss.
where the softness of time
and the muscularity of the brain meet? Time says,
Here is a note, a scent, a color for you to hold
just for an instant.
The brain says thank you, will you be wanting this back?
The answer is always yes, for now.
Time grows less soft, and more persistent.
Brain goes less muscular, and more furrowed.
And then when they meet, you may keep the flower, the song, the sweet kiss
for just a little longer, and more often.
Not because time is kind, exactly,
nor the brain greedy;
this is simply the agreement they made at the outset,
at the first imprint.