The Story
by Michael Pacholski

I wanted my story to be known
so I skipped a pebble
across the ocean to mark the waves and the water
and so it was but still
there was no story, just a tide. So later
I fashioned stars from paper and
struck the match I’d made that day
and – bang – everything went
but still I had no story

A little rain came
so I skipped another pebble
and this time it came right back
with the mark of another boy
who said he too had a story
One with an element of redness
he had made of another tide. “Look up” said the pebble I skipped back
and for the stars he saw of mine
he did make planets
to twirl in their own deep space waltz

And while I wove and hammered and chopped
and cobbled together a small raft
to leave this milky sea, this one-palm island
he smitheed and forged and bolted

a boat of his own

to leave what he called his alone and cloudy place
where everyone speaks a million times a million
but no one has much to say

and in the middle
of all this time
away from all prying orbits
we met
we fished
we wrote a story
that didn’t need to say too much.

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