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At Geology Lab in Idaho (With My Lab Partner Kerry)

by Jill Hemming

We hover over numbered rocks,
seeking cleavage
to match diagrams
in the textbook.

“These are the bosom
of the earth”
our professor cries,
like a faroff bird.

We strain for textures,
hold them to our eyes;
I line them up again and again
like convicts
with digits on their chests.

But Kerry handles them
like Easter sugar eggs.
She understands the equilibrium
of a rock,

how it sits flat,
down deep and still.
In dance class
she lies within a circle,
feels the floor breathe
and the ceiling move down to her
like a lover.
(She keeps waiting to flatten).