Only Rock


there’s not much i can do

for this type of wound.

these are fragments we can’t

remember into a body.



try lovage, linden, lotus,

tie a root around your neck.

laurel, lavender, lady’s thumb,

sever the part that might know.



“we were going by the book,

but the damned mountain couldn’t read”



witness to fading,

to the grief living in their shoulders,

to the shaping of god 

through the scraping away


glacial till

they’ve perfected a system

to level this topography.

it lays flat, 

no longer attuned

to receive soothing.


i can no longer continue

to build a home upon 

this scrap heap of unfeeling.


blue clay 

maintain a wide vision

to resemble a body.



the water left me

one thousand three hundred miles away

in the mouth of a river that filled up

and spilled ever into 

the non-matter of this beauty

Madeleine Kannan is a social worker, artist, poet, and musician based in Seattle.