Get a lodestone or a lapis lazuli.
Put the stone in your pocket and
let it mix with the lint of forgiveness.
Take a walk in the park with the stone.
See two birds. Do not throw the stone.
Stop in front of a glass house.
Someone throws a stone at you.
Take the stone from your pocket and
hold the stone. Let its coolness
enter the heat in your hand. Lift
the stone in your hand as if to throw
it. Then lower your hand slowly and
walk away. Walk down the street where
bodies sell themselves. Do not cast
your stone. Buy a body
a meal. Ask how you can help.
You are directed to a hairy part
of town. You are asked how you got
the stones to be there. Say you don’t
have stones plural. You just have one
stone and it is enough. You are judged
to be crazy and are allowed to leave
with your life without your money
and with the stone. Someone makes you
a promise. Do not set it in your stone.
If the promise is broken give them your stone.
Unless the promiser is gone with the promise.
In which case leave your stone
Bob Hoeppner has been a submarine radioman, bartender, and software developer. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Sijo, Leaping Clear, and elsewhere. He is the author of the book My Cynical and Sentimental Eye.