Push up the loose skin on the back
of your hand. Move it around
until it forms peaks and furrows,
a cascading pattern of ridges.
These are the Blue Ridge Mountains.
They are worn down by age
of rain. They are the blue of fog
in evening light, the purple
of smashed grape hyacinths.
They overlap and run into each other
like ripples, as if someone
a billion years ago tossed
a penny onto the surface of the Earth
And the Appalachians
rose up. Liquid stone they were once,
and liquid stone they seem now.
White-hot, they were, once,
and they are warm grey rain now,
Cool blue shadows,
rough black stone.