Robert Krut The 2River View, 7.4 (Summer 2003)
Then, Two Stones Inside


When I looked in the mirror, there was a hole
between my chest and stomach.
Its edges were smooth, its center, black.
I ran my fingers along its circle, reached in.
First, just my index finger, then my whole hand.
I felt bone, the silk faces of organs.
Without notice, my whole arm was inside.
Then the other. Before thought,
my head was inside, looking at the clearing
just past the spine. Wrapping my hand
around the backbone, I pulled myself through.

I was at a rise in land, looking over
the naked bottom of a drained ocean.
A head-size rock in my hands.
It was silent.
There was a plate of frozen black lava at my feet.
I raised that rock above my body, swung it down.
The plate was unmarked, the rock
smaller, shaking free.

I must have done this all night,
until my hands were empty
but for a spoonful of dust.
Holding my palms open, a gust
blew it out onto the ocean’s floor.


Because when I close my eyes,
I see two stones.
They float in darkness,
gray and smooth, always there.

But last night, I watched their drift,
felt them between eye and lid.
I nearly cried. I thought I was going blind.
They were pushing through.
When I opened to sight,
they were nestled in my palms,
and I could see.

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