The Exile


Meteorite in the Australian desert

Nothing here has changed at all

since this burnt rock thrust itself

deep in dirt red as sword wounds

all those thousands of years ago.

Once the noise that no one heard had faded

and the cloud of blood that hid the sky

had settled, this exile waited

for someone or something that might evolve

while the constellations slowly swirled

around an unseen vortex:

teardrops of angels

stirred into a black cup of loneliness

by the finger of a hand so vast

that even the gods of the galaxies

would not know what to call it.

Our planet scorched a hundred mouths

on this ragged surface,

but they all speak unknown languages;

maybe those to be will learn them all

and come to understand

that not everything has a reason.

There should be many others

gathered round this patient grail

to watch until that day arrives,

but there’s only me sitting in the dust

among the countless shrubs

and ants glinting in the sun.

As the sprawling wash of black

sweeps the desert cold,

I warm my hands over this stone

that lost its heat

before there was anyone to feel it;

I’m made from the same stellar slag-heap,

equally cold and ancient

and just as alone and uncomprehended.

Published in Crow of Minerva magazine

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