by Wendy N. Wagner
pile of time-browned rocks.
Stones nostalgic for the scent of magnolia,
the shadow of giant fern fronds,
the thick tang of duckbill blood.
Today as silent as granite, limestone or slate.
Stone has a story it keeps to itself,
subterranean, subconscious. Underneath.
Our inquisitive fingers must seek it out,
break it out,
crumble the passive mineral voice until the angry verbs,
the massive monstrous nouns
It is a puzzle of pebbles,
a mystery written in riddles
in another tongue.
A language not dead, but evolved: it whispers
in the voices of calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica,
inside our very bones.
revealed by an armature of wire and plaster,
translated by experts in geology, chemistry and history:
no longer a fragment of the earth
that once cradled your decomposing body,
under the skies of your kin.
Wendy N. Wagner’s short fiction has appeared in the anthologies The Way of the Wizard and Rigor Amortis. Her novel Her Dark Depths is forthcoming from a small press in fall 2011. She shares her home in Portland, Oregon, with a daughter, a husband and–much to her dismay–no dinosaurs.