Utah To Paris

Utah To Paris

Homage to Gertrude Stein

india-utah-07-004
Grave of Gertrude Stein

I picked up
that funny pebble
on a walk
with Martha Ham
out into the Silver Reef red rock
her husband Peter
said it was just
a concretion
spat out
from an ancient
volcano

I carried that rock
inside my pocket
for a couple of years
brooding over it
like a fetish
polishing my thumb
over the smooth
ridged body
of this primeval
lump of lava
solid now
a million years

india-utah-07-001
Grave of Oscar Wilde

when I got to Paris
it was still inside my pocket
when my friend Stephane
took me to
the fabled Pere Lachaise Cemetery
a block from his flat
who did we come upon
right after
Oscar’s fabulous sarcophagus
but her
squat and plain
headstone

I did what
other people
who love Jews do
I took the stone
from my pocket
and left it there
in remembrance

Franklin Abbott
19 July 2007
Stone Mountain
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