Stone #3


Even now my hands feel sticky with its blood.

Nine stones rattle

in the old Nike shoebox,

like they had then  (its blood—

before I picked up the twigs

before I put them down

to pick up the stone—

then the stones, now, not knowing I’d made a quick habit;

but boys are always jumping from one diversion to another.)

but now, nine, anonymous and innocent.

But no, not either, since…which one’s got the…

here: blood-stained

(not entirely wiped clean—

to this day, how I wipe

my hands)

clicking against the blueish one (stone #7): this is stone #2,

the only red one (the first one camouflaged in the red clay of my yard).

Calloused and cracked, my hands search for a numerical order.

But I fail to find it and close my eyes to recall, to recite (as I hold

the shoebox

like a murdered bird)

a ditty I made up when I was a kid.



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