Game of Stones

Game of Stones

I touched her palm and felt
A small smooth rock
Carved by waves and air
She said let’s start a lover’s game
Winner gains the right to ask
Perfection like this black round stone

We sat by the white shore
Staring at the immense sea

She began by rubbing stones to fires
Illuminating paired dolphins
Leaping into dark grey waves
I returned a miniature Stonehenge
Purely made of pebbles

She next turned stones into portraits
All the Pharaohs and Queens of Egypt
A royal procession traipsing a Texas beach
Orange gases flaring in the east

My reply stone pyramids
Filling the deserts of all the West
Every slab lightly tapped in place
Fast tombs taller than Pike’s Peak

She poured her boulders into tight weaves
Spreading as spirals until each
Pushed the Rockies across the Great Plains
Frosting the summits with Arctic ice

How to top a mountain range?
I propped curling sea walls
Around Tokyo, London, New York
Fringed with a skin of flexible stones
Sharing protection from rising seas

Her next mountain range fist-stamped the moon
Forming stones from lunar dust
Their path curled to letters writing
The whole history of Earth

We’ll live a lunar life, she said
I’ll be the moon goddess
Float to earth on a carpet of angels

I protested we should stay right here
But no; she said we must go
Everywhere, do anything
So much can be done with stones
Stones make walls
Walls make cities
Cities civilizations
Civilizations may span the stars

Can stones make gods? I asked
In that very moment she paled
Wings forming on her back
As she flew up

I tried to join her but
Stood stuck on that chilly beach
And that’s when I saw
She was both stone and moon
Lunar goddess and my love

And as my mind descends to sleep
I watch her up there every night
Each instant becoming a different stone
Marble and porphyry, spinel and diamond

She won our wager but left this world
And I lost her
But cannot yet go into the stone
Goddesses may reign for billions of years
But stones do not live