In the otherworldly landscapes
of the Southwest, dwarfed
by the monuments of what time
and erosion have wrought,
my husband bought a souvenir bag
of polished stones. Geology
to hold in our hands.

Now that he’s dead
there’s comfort in fire,
the layering of sediment,
conversions deep underground.

I cradle a stone in my hand,
twist my wedding ring,
imagine ascending.
The dog is still a dog
for the moment, earthbound.
She follows my movements,
out of her sight

over the rooftops
like one of Chagall’s lovers
untethered from her partner
searching to the edge of the world,
where the ocean endlessly
breaks itself on the shore.

Ellen Romano is a graduate of San Jose State University and former elementary school teacher. Her work has appeared in december and is forthcoming in Crosswinds Poetry Journal.

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