Pebble in a stream

My mother always says
That I’m like a pebble in a flowing stream.
Letting the water flow over me,
Absorbing none of it.

Maybe I am a pebble:
Born of magma, thrust
From the belly of the earth
Violently onto the surface
Then exposed to wind, rain, and sun.

A giant basalt expanse
That slowly weathers away
Water worn,
And Sunburned.

Most of it turns to dust,
Some of it gets dug up
And turned into statues or floors
Or money or fuel

But a few little bits
Find themselves in streams
Streamlined and rounded
Zen symbols of calm and peace

A cool and uncaring existence
An acceptance of fate
A passive resignation
Appearing un-influenced by its surroundings,
While being constantly shaped by them.

So the water flows over me
A constant stream
Of babbling screams
Flowing from infinite, insane mouths,
Into bottomless, obscure oceans.

In that stream, I appear
Untouched, unperturbed, unaffected
But every passing moment,
The water flows and chips away at me.

Words, like tiny daggers,
Grind magmatic memories into silt.
Every nonapology,
Every thoughtless comment,
Every unmeant thank you,
Every missed connection,
Every stone left unturned,
And every conversation that petered out
With a “No, I’m good, thanks.”

Tender Days

Some days feel like a full-body bruise:
Abstract, intangible, and mental
Pressure like over-tightened screws,
Digging in against my temples.

Turmeric stain instincts,
Stubborn, indelible, and distinct.
Let them be and they might wane,
Or let them in and re-live the pain.

Old pains not fully cleansed,
Bad juju from stifled energies,
Changing landscapes, but the same old lens,
Dull aches from blunt force memories.

The sharp agony has long passed,
A phantom soreness remains.
Illusions dissolving at long last,
Last gasps of waning hurricanes.

So I wake up tender some mornings,
And hurt through the day.
Sulking, sullen, and mourning,
The rotten fantasies I threw away.