a stone collects as it rolls.
adrenaline, a queasy
sweat, and the first scrim of
dust over the earth. then its clay,
a cover-coat, keeping the water out,
or in, conversing with salt.
after that, variable. coins tossed.
some airy worm-turned loam,
some wrapped wet red treasures
waiting. some treasures even the worms
won’t touch. he remembers where each treasure lies, lets
the dust stick, then the copycat red of the clay.
he will be a jar of himself, a fruit
dumpling no one will ever eat, like the poisoned
drupes he’d buried every now and then,
a few then, a lot recently.
no longer under his own agency
now; an arm of the lord, and a toy.
the lord would sear the clay to cracking if
he didn’t spend enough of his force in rolling. he counts
abasements until even he cannot keep track. the long
dance of his spine bone white,
once bright under priestly hands, now worm.
he will clad himself thick and not crack. he will wait
wetly beneath, untouched
despite all the crawling. he will cure hard,
harder, and roll, and survive the coming
eruption. he will wait and pray under dust,
become thickest armor.
worm, transform again.
perhaps heaven will have mercy, perhaps at last it won’t be
a fly but a moth, a tomorrow, food,
a liquor-fruit, a long-slept rose. he knows the way to unwind.
he is of hardy stock. quick, wise, like his mother, mutable, storing up,
hiding lives inside graves,
feed and grow on any found thing,
a hoard-hearted woman
a grace on the haunted ground and
no fear of the larder of the dark.