Annalynn Hammond The 2River View, 8.1 (Fall 2003)
The Old Sandstone Quarry

Sometimes I sit up on the rim,
let pebbles scurry down from my hands,
trigger small avalanches with my heels.

The crows are upset by my presence,
but their caws are so loud and constant,
soon they seem like silence itself.

There are faces in the cut wall, faces
long buried. You can see the pull of the blade
in their stretched and furrowed skin.

On the ledge, moss and loam hang
in scraps, like the flesh falling away
from the cheekbones of a corpse.

An owl takes flight from the eye
of a long faced man, its talons knocking
the bridge of the nose to pieces that tumble.

But nothing startles me here.
Echoes carry everything away
before it hits the ground.

You can tell it was not easy to pull the sky
so low, that something fought hard
before it lost itself to space and dust.

Sometimes I lay in the center of the bottom.
Strange that it takes a hole a hundred feet deep
to feel the weight of the sky on my ribcage.

Maybe I just needed a wider mouth
to hold it all. The boundaries of my face
waver between wind and sand.

Spine to the ground, I know I am doomed
to come back to this place, to join the rocks
patiently waiting to lose their form.

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