praise for Folly, Erasmus, from these lips,
or from what I use as lips, the tips
of fingers I've let linger without expertise
on a feeling less feeling than desire to tease
what I can, or they may, from a simple rock.
I found it on the spoiled ground I walk,
alongside hop-scotch squares chalked
to dare jumps from steps I give to the bare
concrete. Its smooth brown whisper
hints at lost red, but it hasn't led me to what
formed it: not what gravity of years; not
the great weight of a wait uncounted; not the slow
or sudden forces that freed it. I don't know
any of it. I'm not as foolish as the French
academic I read who studied a people at length,
and their region others had named. He claimed
to know what makes, or made, them different. The same
I could say for a taco chain and its bravado
at being expert in making flavorless burritos.
I'll boast instead of the plastic bear.
It's clearly grown better at holding air
than the honey leaving it. I also like this rock, and what
matter it's expert in. It's this rock, until it's not.