Speak to me pebble about the sea,
tell me how it picks a piece of rock
and cuts, carves, buffs, burnishes
to fashion this one particular oval.
And why, of millions on the beach
are you the one that catches my eye,
the one that begs to be lifted
and brought home to sit on my desk.
Pebble, that name unknown to you,
doesn’t it fit you like a glove –
blocky jostle of stone in ‘p’ and ‘b’,
slap and slosh of seawater in ‘l’.
On my palm, your cold. I close
my fingers around you, take you
on my tongue to taste the salt,
feel the sea’s patient making.
And all this leaves you unmoved.
What I want to say is that in the quartz
striping your red skin I can see
and hear the waves that formed you –
tell me why so bad this need to hold you,
how, in your stillness, sea’s unstillness.
Well, we both came from starlight,
you reply, and before that, who knows.