James Owens

Paperweight

This stone on the desk is inaccessible
in its rare innards, though fist-shaped

and polished by years’ employment
in meditation—an idle hand grasping

as a mind strokes History or notions of Being.
The cool skin of rock never returns

the answer to any question, not to the fingers
that try its bumps and grooves, not to the silence

of the empty room where it huddles toad-like
while light crosses the desk, slowly, from the window,

in the turning of the day. The stone takes the light,
quietly, when no one sees, then curls back upon itself.

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