Strata

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audio of Susan Cohen's poem, Strata

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Able Muse Write Prize for Poetry, 2012 ▪ Finalist

Susan Cohen

Strata

 

      1.

      Striations, flecks,
      a smoothness to rub against.
      I pocket stones.

      In a stone’s lack of lack
      lies a stone’s appeal.
      It needs no word for want,

      since stones are pure
      of mineral heart, if not
      completely senseless.

      True, a stone is blind,
      deafer than dust, oblivious
      to onions sizzling in butter,

      dead to the beauty
      of a Saguaro or Chopin.
      But one stone promises

      immunity from fire,
      another mimicking eternity
      in the only form that I can touch.

      2.

      Wide-eyed
      in dirt, schist
      at the wrist,
      breccia, talc,
      gneiss, chert,
      a deposit, debris,
      slated, abated
      and granite
      to grief, I,
      stratified,
      quake-tossed,
      river-washed,
      a pebble in scree,
      when stone
      pockets me.