With These Hands: Caladan4.
Mojave Desert, California. Summer Solstice. Full Moon. 3 a.m

The indigo mountains are:

I have stumbled up the scree.
I plant my feet, look down, listen up--
a dry lake
bed (super-
luminous, planar, rippled, vornoi tessellated)--
I am made breathy and
dumb by the rhythms, by the mathematics of this
piece of
earth. One

rock, as wide
as my outstretched
arms. I stand in the shadow of this rock. I


on this rock, blinking, breathing hard. I see:
ten rocks, the circumference
of my straining arms (I could

embrace them. I could

embrace them); a hundred,
half that size, too heavy to lift (perhaps
I could move
them); one thousand,
half that size again (I could strain
against their weight, scrape my fingers
raw to free them from the earth); ten
thousand more, could fit within the cup
of my hands (within

my hands). I

kick at the pebbles, coated with
(my nostrils). Dust (my paper hands).

I bend. I run my fingertips and then
my hands (the sound of a mother's hush) across
the surface of the rock
at my knees; breathing, slow and deep
the alkaline air (closing my eyes,
breathing deep the moon, the brush, the sound
of my boots when I shift my weight).

I open my eyes. I look around to integrate the spectrum
of rock but

three or four paces--tens or hundreds or thousands
of rocks--away, my eyes can only differentiate: a second rock,

a rock the size of my embrace, the weight of
a child,

and I know

(my hands) (my steady breathing) (my eyes) (the dry lake bed)
(the imprint of my knee in the dust)

I know
it will fit with this rock.

I creep across the noisy scree. I stand astride this
second rock. I seize it, stumble, carry it back. The sound

is dull and deep:
the pieces mate. There is no seam. A wedge
is missing.

must be shaped like a dagger, fit within (my hand, like this);
lie within a radius; (over here, I put) my outstretched (hand,
like this one, sharp)--I dig a dagger from the clinging dust.
The sound is bright and crisp:
the pieces mate. There is no seam.

A corner is missing; it would fit within my palm. I
reach back (dry paper hands), withdraw a fragment,
close my fingers around it, place it into the corner
of the rock. A tick.

There is no seam.

I lay my hands on this rock.
The rock is warm, is rounded and smooth. Solid,
rooted to the earth.
I run my (dry, paper) hands
across the surface of this rock (a sound, like
distant water, like a sharp breath

A chip is missing. It looks like an eye.

This is how I left the rock.

JDP 2002/10


Tessellation Geometries

Copyright John D Porter © 2002

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