Excavate

Buried alive
Under stones
I stood at the summit,
High above the voracious valley,
Marking some old something,
Some quest,
Some climb.

And oh!
How I struggled.

To strength I called, in vain,
To shift,
To ease,
To take one
Wheezing,
Shallow
Breath,
And then,
Another.

My eyes
Were grey
And hard.

My hair
Was dry,
And woody.

My mouth
Was cracked
And mossy.

Time passed,
Bones compressed,
Fused, fossilized.

And then you came,
Like a naughty boy who,
Having eluded
Mother’s watchful eyes,
Bolted, and
Raced up the incline.

Like a wayward puppy,
You came
Bounding up the overgrown,
Hidden path.

Then Oh!
My God,
You stopped.

You stood stock still.

You gazed.

You walked round and round.

Your curious fingers
Trailed over
My smooth stones,
Examined
My sharp edges,
Lingered over
My crevices.

And I had
No more breath.

And in your eyes
This pile of rocks was
A thing of beauty,
A treasure,
A private
And delightful thing.

Then Oh!
My God,
You saw, me.

All at once,
My flinty eyes
Softened into yours.

My hard, grey eyes
Dissolved into
Relief and wonder.

Training your eyes
On mine
Intently,
So as not to lose them
In the surrounding
Sameness,
You lifted, gently,
The pebble
From my ear,
Released
The collar
From my throat,
Picked the sticks
From my hair.

Finally,
The last stone
You laid aside,
And I fell,
Boneless,
Into your arms.

And you brought
The cup to my mouth,
Kissed the dust
From my lips,
Licked the lichen
From my tongue –

And you loved me,
You loved me,
You loved me.

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