With hammerstone in hand, he preps the core for a strike;

stacks of lathe-turned bowls line the walls,


drying for another day, with the sawdust and shavings,

curled wood chips carpeting the cold concrete ground of the garage.


He steadies his hand and studies the core, flips the hammer around

and strikes hard with deliberate force — a stone swallowing cobra.


The flakes begin to fly, obsidian obliterated, debitage delegated

to the corner with the wood chips littering the tarp


laid out in vain to contain the mess, and he strikes again

and he flips the core again, whittling away at its mass.


It's all simple subtraction he says, and this is how life goes,

and this is how the days go by, with a strike and a snap,


memories like debitage line our minds, our days and ways

like flakes of stone waiting to be swept up,


with no other purpose than to remind us of what's been lost,

and we don't need them but we won't clean them up 'til we're done


and the axehead begins to appear, like a shape from the void

but in reverse, born from existence, sharp jagged edges.


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