When I was young I found a stick
washed up on the smooth sand,
dry with salt and brittle as bone.

The contours of its skin were dark,
formed as they were by the sun and moon
and handled by unforgiving stars.

It looked like it had been leaned upon once.
I took it in my hand and felt its weight,
bobbing it in the air, extending me.

I drove it suddenly down, deep
beyond my knowledge and dragged it
through the back-alleys of my mind,

writing what they used to write,
when certain words were weightier
and meant more than they do now.

Afterwards I flung it in the air,
watching it sail in the sky, forever
turning itself, being free.

It landed with a splash in the sea.
I turned away and did not want
the tide to shore it ever again.