THE LOVER OF STONE
The lover of stone must be old,
for there is no such thing as a young stone.
The lover of stone must be strong,
for he must be able to climb up the mountain
and the summit of the mountain
to find the beginning of stone.
And he must be able to climb down
the mountain again to the valley
and to the bottom of the valley
to find the ending of stone.
The lover of stone must be a genius at unrequited love.
He must be a connoisseur of the cold.
The lover of stone must be a saint,
for stone will no more return his love
than does God return that of the saint.
The lover of stone must be jealous.
He must be jealous of the water that loves stone to smooth.
And he must be jealous of the wind that loves stone to death.
—from Rattle 29, Summer 2008
J.R. Solonche: “I write poetry because I can’t compose music. That’s the short answer. The long answer involves my 12th grade English teacher at Evander Childs High School in the Bronx, Mr. Feinberg, who dared me to write a poem, which I did. Well, I guess that’s another short answer.”