Leveler Poetry Journal
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Quarry Pile


Before my brother was born: a rockfall

we foraged. I remember onliness, quiet business,


the cascading at once imminent and stilled,

a bed cleared down a hillside. The sick seep


of milky weed, of summer and dust. Beryl,

quartz? We climbed apart to browse, brooding,


to cover maximum ground. I remember the scrape

and sound of grit in plastic pails, how the turning


of the littered specimens, mostly granite,

caught my hands in little cuts; the weight

numbed them hot.


So, my hands left me. This was

a temporary and natural biological defense.


I touched plants to ease them: they came back

stung. For every black leaping moth there must


have been garnet, for ground wasps amethyst—

but these resisted me. Apatite, tourmaline.

Julia Leverone