jess ingrassellino, summer 2019
They hadn’t asked to be there, those
sharp stones at the bottom of Beachy Head.
But the stones knew some things about
Gangly humans waited until dusk,
finding their way to the cliff’s edge
on the flat grassy path. The
Wind coaxed humans closer to the edge,
Where the stones had the best view.
Looking up, those old stones got hit by
a phone, tossed over the edge, by a human.
The human – this time a girl –
Wailed in pain and screamed goodbye,
Throwing herself over soon after.
The stones and cliffs noticed:
Humans aren’t very good at emotions.
Terrible at grief and loss. Worse at deciding
What to do about it.
The sharp stones and white cliffs were
Stained red more frequently than one might think –
Twenty times per year if the numbers added up right.
More often, though, the stones saw
Sadness – in a dangling foot,
or an anxious glance,
cast in their direction –
pebbles kicked over the edge into the waves below.
If the stones could shout back at the girl,
after she launched her phone,
but before she’d launched herself,
maybe they’d tell her that
nothing had gone better for those who had gone before.