Needle-shaped crystals of golden rutile
protrude from ocean-coloured quartz.
Its Technicolor shards tell me that my life
means nothing in the face of a mineral
that has crossed a rushing sea of time
to arrive smooth and sharp all at once
in my small, leathery hands by the foamy water
as I call to you, hoping you’ll see
the shimmering, yet painfully irregular, polygon
that rests in my hands like a
Sleeping child. What more could I want than a
strange thing in my palms
that reminds me of my woefully insignificant state
among stars hanging over me
in the freezing heat? This quartz with a rutile stake
through its heart tells me you
won’t come. I’ve called out to the sunless sea
the void that fills the space between
the grainy sand and whatever heaven we came from.
The crystals tell me I’ll never be home
and that I’ve been playing God by yelling your name
from the microscopic beige that fills the space
between my toes. But as I dip my feet into the water
and accept the stippled sea spray
and wade through the same clever colour as the shape
I hold tenderly, I thank it for its advice
and drop it into the sea. I sit down, float through debris,
and as my toes are eaten by tiny sharp-toothed fish,
tell the stars
I’ve returned home.
CA Russegger is a Filipino writer whose work doesn’t appear anywhere much, but who loves history, literature, and dogs.