Stone Anatomies

We must be lost in stone
       in water
       into stone
       be quenched 
       in fire, dissolved and stoned
       in fire

We must be numbed
       in stone
       to wood, in wood’s
       stone jelly boned
       be whet
       in air, in air’s fierce
       drownings fired

Our beauties must be charred in wood
       through stone, through cutting water

We must descend through stone’s
       soft foot, through sear and atom honed
       of nothing, out of nothing stained
       to stone

Our hands must sprout
       from starfish stone, from rain
       our fingers and from rain
       and stone’s dissolve of air
       our breathing
       and blood’s breathing
       beat to hair

From leaf and water seal
       to wood
       in bone, in bone’s
       red leafing
       the nostril into brain

The eye must beat
       in lizard light, in stone
       into the head’s webbed bone

That stone enough be loss to start the lung.

Used with permission of Princeton University Press, from Corrupted into Song: The Complete Poems of Alvin Feinman, edited by Deborah Dorfman, 2016; permission conveyed through Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.