Ode to the Rockbiters

“A hole would be something. No, it was nothing.”
           —The Rockbiter, “A Never-ending Story”

The air is stone and we must chip our way through. This
is what we get for electing a mason. The days are marbled
gray; they taste slightly of salt, dust, cold. Somewhere
off to the left, someone is always crying, muffled and soft
and slightly lemony. It does not carry. This is __________
hood. No more leaning against walls to feel their strength
in our sides: now we lean against air. 

Behind us, a pile of flakes, growing slower than we think.
The stumble-bum of our ambitions; the sad hunger that yearns
from machine to machine but forever has no cash.
Our beautiful hands will blister on these tools. Our lungs
weighted with slivers. Nights, we dream of a whispered
place where air flows like molten granite, but cool, where
moisture other than the blood of our lips wets
our throats. Directions abound, there, other than just
onward. Movement is as easy as the crumble of time.

—CL Bledsoe, Glencoe, MD