Skipping Stones

He could displace the face of any lake,
barely break the surface, convince the water
to kiss the rock, convince the rock to resist.

He’d search cracked shale beds baking in the sun,
culling hydrodynamic from asymmetric,
the millions of stones from the millions of years

lying smoothed and wind-brushed in the hush of noon.
And yes there was passion in the way he caressed
his perfect decision, sucked a finger to test the breeze,

then skimmed light with just the right english
to skip it eight, ten, a dozen times before it sank
as I watched the concentric circles of ripples

intersect from each step the stone had taken
to form the secret map of the world
that nobody knows how to read.