by John J. Ronan

1 Quartz

From four feet you can imagine candy,

a lemony tease that turns cruel

closer rock found in the Mohave,

a common quartz, the hard mineral


Used for marbles, the semiprecious

jewelry trade, for a cat’s whisker

to scratch in the early years of wireless,

raising Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh . . .


The central flaw or inclusion that implies

ghosts and the veiling mist of ritual

is simply a function of refracted sunlight,

your anxious gaze, the indifferent crystal:


Silicon dioxide, locked in hexagons

by the strict physics found in nature,

without magic or hints of incense,

and unrelated to food, beauty, the future.