I admit it. I don’t know what kind of stone
is underneath us all. I’ve lived years here
but it tends not to come up in conversation.
Somewhere people stand on pink quartz
when they stand in their backyards, pink
gins in each fist, a pink sunset pressed
against the sky. That's nice for them.
New York City would be squat if not
for the granite beneath all those fashionable
people and even the mole people who live
in the subways and have all-white eyes.
Here the grass does okay. Snowmelt
sinks through. There’s a tallish building
every once in a while. Our cars are many
colors and so are our children's small
electronic versions of cars. But what are
we really walking upon? A seed bank
in Norway holds a repository in case of
global catastrophe. Even North Korea
has a shelf. It’s cold in Norway. The seeds
are buried deep inside the mountain.
When they dug out that rock someone
stopped to look at what was in her shovel.
Only three people in the world have a key.
I don’t have one. I’m guessing you don't either.
Christopher Citro is the author of The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy (Steel Toe Books). He won the 2015 Poetry Competition at Columbia Journal, and his recent and upcoming publications include poetry in Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, Best New Poets, Poetry Northwest, and Hayden's Ferry Review, and creative nonfiction in Boulevard and Colorado Review. Christopher received his MFA from Indiana University and lives in Syracuse, New York.Photo by Jnaithani